Different options for a divorce. Have you ever heard of: cooperative divorce, amicable divorce, civil divorce? I am pretty sure almost everyone has heard of those types of divorces. But what do they all really mean? What is a cooperative divorce, amicable divorce, civil divorce? How are they different from a collaborative divorce?
Cooperative divorce, amicable divorce, and civil divorce explained:
A cooperative divorce, amicable divorce, and civil divorce are all the same type of divorce. It is an attitude and approach each spouse takes in the divorce. They want to cooperate by exchanging information and not play games. It also means they want to find a way to resolve the issues to keep the costs down and emotions down. These types of divorces also mean the spouses want to treat each other civilly, not in a nasty tone. It is the mindset and approach each spouse and his or her attorney takes in the case. Working together for the outcome.
A cooperative divorce, amicable divorce, and civil divorce is when the spouses have an informal understanding of how they would like to handle their divorce. Did you catch that…informal understanding! This informal understanding is not legally binding, and either spouse can change his or her mind at any time about how they would like to handle the divorce. Which means in the middle of the divorce, one spouse might decide to go in a different direction and the case becomes nasty. When a spouse changes his or her mind and no longer wants a cooperative, amicable, or civil divorce; the other spouse is stuck. There is nothing the other spouse can do to stop the change. After the change, formal discovery may start, and motions are filed and the overall tone changes. The attorneys no longer work together to bring a resolution, but instead become adversaries. And all the while, the spouse who wants a cooperative divorce, amicable divorce, or civil divorce will have to learn to deal with this change.
A cooperative divorce, amicable divorce, and civil divorce are all in the litigation process. There is no separate process for those types of divorces and the court does not stay the pending case to see if the spouses are able to resolve the issues in the cooperative, amicable, or civil divorce. There are still deadlines, and the court may require status conferences to move the case forward. The court can also schedule a trial and require the spouses to attend mediation.
Collaborative Divorce explained:
A cooperative divorce, amicable divorce, and civil divorce are not a collaborative divorce. Unlike those types of divorces, a collaborative divorce is a separate legal process, out of court. The court stays the pending case to allow the parties to participate in the collaborative process. There is a formal understanding which is set forth in a participation agreement. The attorneys and other professionals on the team work together to settle the case. Team meetings are scheduled periodically to discuss the parties’ goals, process to reach a settlement, information needed, and the actual settlement terms. Conflict is managed and each spouse (and members of the team) are held accountable to one another in the collaborative divorce. Unlike in the litigation process where a spouse does not know what is coming next because it depends on the approach and attitude of the other spouse and his or her attorney, in the collaborative divorce there is certainty and less anxiety. Also, in the collaborative divorce information is exchanged informally and voluntarily with the expectation that a settlement will be reached. The collaborative divorce is different than the other types of divorces.