Collaborative Divorce

Think about how divorce is typically portrayed in the media.

It's perceived as an aggressive, contentious, and all around destructive fight. While there is no doubt that some New York divorces are rough, it does not necessarily have to be that way. There is a kinder, gentler answer. The collaborative divorce process offers splitting couples a way to end their marriage in a respectful, dignified manner, preserving their overall relationship.

If you are considering collaborative divorce in New York state, we can help.

At the Bombardo Law Office, P.C., our Syracuse collaborative divorce attorney has helped many divorcing couples end their marriage in a cooperative manner. For immediate assistance with your case, please contact our firm today to set up your fully confidential case evaluation.

What is Collaborative Divorce?

In New York, collaborative divorce is a relatively new form of ADR. The primary goal is to help couples get through the divorce process as quickly and amicably as possible. Ideally, collaborative divorce will allow a family to avoid going through litigation. It is not the best option for every divorcing couple. However, for many it offers a cost-effective, family-centric approach that will help them resolve their issues.

How is Collaborative Divorce Different From Mediation?

When first learning about collaborative divorce, many people wonder how it is different than mediation for a divorce. This is a very good question. Mediation is also a process that emphasizes working together to find a mutually agreeable solutions. Still, there are some important differences between the collaborative divorce and divorce mediation. Specifically, three important distinctions are as follows:

  1. With collaborative divorce, there is no neutral third party. Instead of having a mediator in the room with you, to facilitate the process, the only you, your spouse, and each of your attorneys will be in the room. Together, the four of you will control the flow of the process. 

  1. To get a collaborative divorce in New York state, you and your partner must sign an official participation agreement. This agreement commits you to avoiding the use of any aggressive, adversarial tactics. Essentially, you and your spouse are formally agreeing to work together in good faith. 

  1. When mediation breaks down, your divorce lawyer can still represent you during the remainder of your case. As soon as that process ends, your lawyer could initiate litigation. However, with collaborative divorce, if the process breaks down, then both lawyers are required to withdraw their representation. This is important because it means that lawyers will focus on finding a collaborative solution. Also, nothing said in that room can be used against either party later on in the case.

The Advantages of Collaborative Divorce

  1. Immersive Process Facilitates Cooperation

Many divorcing couples in Syracuse find that the collaborative divorce process better facilitates working together than any other legal process. Again, this is not the best option for every couple. However, if you believe that you and your spouse can work together productively in a fully immersive process, collaborative divorce will provide you with the best available setting to do so.

  1. Full Disclosures, Efficient Information Sharing

When you sign the participation agreement to initiate the collaborative divorce process, you are committing to making full disclosures of any relevant information. When both parties act in good faith, this leads to more efficient information sharing. Allowing the divorce process to move forward much more smooth. With collaborative divorce, both partners are agreeing to put all of their cards on the table.

  1. Communication is Privileged

Finally, it is important to note that all communications during the collaborative process carry privilege. Both partners can speak openly and honestly, knowing that what they say cannot be used against them, should the process break down. No future lawsuit will involve any of the topics from the collaborative divorce. As mentioned, both parties’ lawyers sign withdraw pledges, by law. The withdrawal pledge is one of the keys to the process. It allows protected communication and provides a better setting for negotiation and fair settlement.

Contact Our New York Collaborative Divorce Attorney Today

At the Bombardo Law Office, P.C., we have extensive experience handling collaborative divorce cases in New York. To learn more about what we can do for you, please call us today at (315) 488-5544 to schedule your free, fully private initial consultation. We always promise to return your call promptly. From our office in Syracuse, we serve communities throughout the Upstate New York, including in Onondaga County, Madison County and Oswego County.

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