A divorce is an emotional roller coaster. After all, it is the end of what once was a union between two people who loved each other enough to make their love official. However, divorce is necessary when the relationship is no longer healthy for either party. It does not mean you need to end your marriage with resentment or through litigation.
If you both collaborate, you can preserve the respect you have for each other and possibly even remain friends despite the divorce. A collaborative divorce begins with a commitment to collaborate. The commitment becomes tangible when you and your former spouse sign the participation agreement.
What is a participation agreement in a collaborative divorce?
The participation agreement is a promise to participate in good faith in the collaborative process without resorting to or threatening court intervention. Instead, the parties involved will work on negotiating a fair and equitable outcome for all. The spouses and their respective lawyers will sign the agreement, legitimizing and solidifying their commitment to collaborate. If either spouse decides to take the divorce to court, their legal representatives must withdraw from the case.
By signing the participation agreement, they agree to honest collaboration. They pledge to fully disclose all the relevant financial information and provide supporting documents to ensure transparency and objectivity without the need for formal proceedings.
Collaborative divorce gives you control
After gathering the pertinent information, the spouses and their legal representatives will use joint experts to help them assess the value of their marital property. They can communicate what they want to keep and what they are willing to forfeit to keep it. Negotiating might not be easy because it is when you realize you will have to let go of some of the assets you acquired together. Still, a collaborative divorce allows the spouses to control the terms and conditions of the settlement agreement instead of letting the court decide for them.