In a collaborative divorce, the parties negotiate a settlement without going to court. They agree to negotiate and attempt to reach a mutual understanding. The spouses will be assisted by their respective attorneys.
I truly believe Collaborative Law is a wonderful way to handle divorce, but you have to remember that this is only a process and should never stop you from asking questions regarding the decisions behind the proposed settlement.
I cannot tell you the number of times I have heard somebody that is going through a divorce say “my soon to be ex-husband” wants our divorce to be fair and amicable. The statement sounds great, but you cannot accept answers just on face value alone. You need to ask questions to make sure the actual outcome is fair and amicable.
You can help protect yourself and your settlement by asking questions. Examples might be…
- Is it fair for my husband to retain his retirement account, pension and most of his salary?
- Is it fair that he is going to pay very little in alimony or child support?
It is rare that the divorce process is easy. But remember, numbers do not lie. There are so many issues that you need to consider: the house, kids’ education, medical insurance coverage, life insurance beneficiary if he is paying alimony, etc.
So before a final settlement decision is reached, make sure you question each decision as to its fairness to you and your children—as I said before—numbers do not lie!