What is Cooperative Divorce?
In a cooperative divorce, the goal is to avoid having to go through adversarial and contested court hearings. Unlike a collaborative divorce the parties can keep their respective attorneys in the event an amicable resolution can’t be reached.
Your mindset is the key to a Cooperative Divorce
Achieving an uncontested divorce is only possible when you have a reasonable mindset. Being a fair and sensible person, having sound judgment is the definition of reasonable. It does not mean you should cave into unreasonable demands. It simply means you will do your part not to “blow up” the case with unrealistic demands and expectations. It also means not putting your children in the middle of adult matters.
On occasion, a potential client comes into the office hurt and as a “matter of principal” wants to get back at their spouse. They insist on wanting the case to be handled in an aggressive manner and don’t care what it will cost. When this happens, I respectfully turn down the case because no matter what I am paid, it is never worth it!
When a potential client comes in with a positive attitude wanting to work their case out, they greatly improve their chance of resolving their case amicably.
Even when both parties are acting in good faith, there are legitimate issues that sometimes need to be decided by the judge. However, those occurrences should be few and far between. In my practice, having to go before the judge for a contested final hearing has occurred in less than 5% of the cases I have handled in the past 3 years.
There are different forms of Cooperative Divorce
Cooperative divorce can take on many different forms and can involve attorneys on one or both sides. For years, I have implemented a 15 step process to an uncontested divorce that has proven to be very successful.
I also handle numerous cases where the other party is represented by an attorney. In these cases, a cooperative divorce can be achieved by settlement negotiations. This can take on the form of exchanging settlement proposals or by meeting in person. If roadblocks exist, then mediation can be scheduled so that a neutral third party can help bridge the gap between the parties and to offer solutions.