There are always bumps in the road: some conflicts or disagreements are larger, some smaller.
After all, if you got along well, you’d likely wish to stay together!
- NO-FAULT. In October 2010, NYS’s first No-Fault Divorce Law went into effect. In our society, one spouse can not force his/her partner to stay in the marriage.
- COST. Readiness-to-separate and cost can be directly related. Couples who continue to struggle with one another, keep the conflicts going in whatever way, change their minds, find reasons to delay closure….will cost more in paying for their professionals’ time. And will certainly “cost” more in emotional turmoil.
- THE TRANSPARENCY PRINCIPLE. Mediation and Collaborative Divorce rely upon voluntary disclosure of all involved, clients and professionals, at all stages, including the discovery and negotiation processes. This is a major difference from litigation.
There are no guarantees that every asset or every dollar of income will be disclosed, any more than the conventional litigation process can guarantee that.
What is different about Mediation and Collaborative law is that the collaborative agreement requires the Team, Coach, Attorneys, Financial expert, to withdraw when s/he becomes aware of dishonesty, or bad faith, e.g. concealing assets or documents, or failing to keep agreements made during the course of negotiations, like producing pension documentation, or to engage in joint parenting counseling.
You are generally the best judge of your partner’s basic honesty. As your co-Mediator, or Collaborative Divorce Coach, I will help you think through your options. Ultimately, the choice is yours.
- INFORMED CONSENT and SHARED CONFIDENTIALITY are the other two signature principles, along with transparency, of Mediation and Collaborative Divorce. That is, you both are fully informed and participate in each stage of the process. And you waive one-on-one confidentiality with your coach or attorney, because the entire Team needs to be fully informed about all information.
- THE END. What happens if you and your partner can not reach settlement? The Mediator(s) / Collaborative Divorce team withdraw from your case and you are free to retain litigating divorce lawyers to pursue your case in court. The majority of the materials accumulated during the Mediation or Collaborative Divorce stage will be transmitted to each of your new attorneys so that there is minimal loss of continuity.