Collaborative Divorce Archives

7 Most Common Divorce Mistakes You want to Avoid

These are mistakes I’ve seen through the years that can have devastating
effects on your financial well-being post-divorce. If you find yourself in
the process of divorce, grab a cup of coffee, take a seat at your desk,
and take some notes.

1. Underestimating your expenses.
It is a lot harder to explain where
all that money goes than how much you make. Take some time to record all
of your expenses and develop a realistic monthly budget. Don’t forget
holiday spending, vacations, auto repair and bills that only come
quarterly or annually.

2. Holding on to the family home at all costs. Often it is ideal to be
able to keep the family home. But no matter how attached you are to your
home, it is crucial that you have a realistic understanding of whether or
not you can afford it.

3. Not taking a holistic view of your finances. If you examine each
asset or source of income separately, you lose the opportunity to
understand the interaction of taxes, capital gains, investment losses,
inflation and more. Fair settlements take into account a comprehensive
picture of all of your finances.

4. Don’t divide your assets without first creating an inventory.
It’s
important to know what you have before you can divide it. Your inventory
should include details (including a description, year acquired, price paid
and current value).

5. Failing to insure spousal and child support payments.
Your ability
to collect alimony and child support is only as good as your spouse’s
ability to pay. Consider life and disability insurance policies to ensure
that these payments will continue in the event of your spouse’s inability
to pay.

6. Having unrealistic financial expectations.
Divorce means splitting
one household into two. Stretching your income to cover two households
means that finances are going to have to tighten. Expect it and plan ahead
so you don’t find yourself in the hole financially.

7. Failing to consider your long-term financial security.
If you focus
only on the immediate task of splitting assets and getting alimony and
child support, without understanding how things might look in 10 or 20
years, you’re doing yourself a great disservice.

A Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) can review the proposed
settlement agreement (before you sign it) and discuss the long-term
financial consequences with you, to protect yourself and your family.

Collaboration? Mediation? Litigation?

Collaboration? Mediation? Litigation?

The Importance of Choosing Wisely

Finding yourself in the challenging position of planning your divorce will force you to make many choices – often with far reaching consequences. The value of making the right decision cannot be overlooked. The same goes with one of the first decisions you will need to make – “how” do you want to proceed with your divorce?

Often, when clients find themselves at the crossroads of determining what process they will use to navigate their divorce, the fear of the unknown paralyzes them into making decisions that in the end – were not the right decisions. Let’s explore the options available and how selecting one over the other can have far reaching positive (or negative) consequences on their divorce, relationship, and family.

Mediation – Any matter in which the parties are willing to work together with one expert. All documents prepared for the mediation, and all matters discussed in the mediation, are confidential. The only public document is the final judgment

Collaboration – Cases where the couple wants to work together to reach a resolution but feel they need their own attorney to help them do so. All documents prepared for the collaborative negotiations, as well as all matters discussed in the sessions, are confidential. Only the final judgment is a public document.

Litigation – Cases where the parties cannot work together or where there is a power imbalance or history of abuse. Generally all pleadings are public records. This is the least private and most expensive of the processes.

One of, if not the most important decision made in divorce is choosing the process that works best for the divorcing couple, and allows them to make the right decisions to move forward to achieve the best outcomes for themselves and their children.

How Many Divorces?

It was a typical family celebration, except that between the happy couple who hosted this festive occasion, their parents, aunts, uncles and siblings, 14 people in all, 14 divorces were represented –(one person had 2, and one had none). All are now in happy, committed relationships: some marriages , some relationships of long-standing, and some new pairings. Of all those divorced couples, both sides of several key players were together in the same room: the couple itself- my niece (E) and her new husband, her ex (B) and his new wife, all of whom co-parent the young man and co-hosted the party. Up the generational tree, her father and his new wife, her mother and her mother’s new husband were also there. B’s mother and her new husband attended, as did (B)’s father and his new wife.

Unfortunately, I don’t think that this is remarkable today, in regard to the number of divorces in one extended, mature family. What I am proud of, as it’s my family and my statistics are in the mix, is that we were all able to join together to celebrate the coming of age of my niece’s young son. In the same room, amicably, even warmly, across the board. No fireworks were present. No tears were shed in anger or in hurt. No voices were raised, other than to cry ‘Mazel Tov!’ No drama showed up, other than the performance of the young man in the spotlight, as he carried out his Bar Mitzvah responsibilities with ease and confidence.

Several of us who had not seen each other in a decade and a half, were happy to see our counterparts ‘on the other side’ and greeted each other with joy and friendship.

What makes us different? What magic have we all found, to be able to put away the conflict and ill-feeling that accompanies most divorces, and find companionship with one another?

Well, for one thing, for the grandparents, it’s been a while. They have all found new partners, and have been in their relationships for 20 + years. Over time, with some introspection and hard work, the anger has gone, the sharpness of hurt has softened, forgiveness and compassion have come to take their place. For the younger parents, for whom the separation is of much shorter duration, new loves now fill their hearts. They have consciously chosen to cooperate, to make their children’s lives easier- and their own, as well.

As those whose maturity has brought some wisdom know, forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself first- and then it follows to others.
For that special weekend of celebration, we were all beneficiaries of that gift. And we have now passed on to that gift to the next generation, as a model to follow.

Collaborative Divorce: Out- of- Court alternative, with my attorney by my side.

Collaborative Practice, including Collaborative Law and interdisciplinary Collaborative Divorce, is a new way for you to resolve disputes respectfully — without going to court — while working with trained professionals who are important to all areas of your life.

The heart of Collaborative Practice or Collaborative Divorce (also called “no-court divorce,” “divorce with dignity,” “peaceful divorce”) is to offer you and your spouse or partner the support, protection, and guidance of your own lawyers without going to court. Additionally, Collaborative Divorce allows you the benefit of child and financial specialists, divorce coaches and other professionals all working together on your team.

In Collaborative Practice, core elements form your contractual commitments, which are to:
• Negotiate a mutually acceptable settlement without having courts decide issues.
• Maintain open communication and information sharing.
• Create shared solutions acknowledging the highest priorities of all.

Collaborative divorce – “Participation Agreement”

Collaborative divorce – “Participation Agreement”

The Participation Agreement serves as the cornerstone of the Collaborative Law Process and Collaborative Divorce Buffalo.  It is the agreement that both the parties and the attorneys sign to begin working together.   The Participation Agreement provides the framework by which the “Collaborative Team” will proceed in working toward the ultimate goal of reaching agreement.

The Agreement describes the role of the Attorney and other professionals working in the process in a Collaborative Divorce Buffalo, and describes the principles on which the process is based, such as “Good Faith” negotiations  and “Participation with Integrity”.    That the parties treat each other with respect during the meetings is also stressed in the participation agreement.

The Participation Agreement also provides by agreement, what a court would order if the parties proceeded to court  – an agreement to refrain from taking any action which is out of the ordinary, both with respect to the parties financial circumstances, (such as transferring or concealing assets, terminating or modifying insurance policies, or incurring unreasonable debts) and with the parties’ children (such as relocating them to another residence, or interfering with either party access to the children.)

In the Participation Agreement, the parties agree, that much like if they were in court, there will be full and complete disclosure of financial information, and any other pertinent information related to the issues being discussed necessary for a Collaborative Divorce Buffalo.

An important distinction of the Collaborative Process from all others, is the agreement and understanding that if either party terminates the collaborative law process, both attorneys are disqualified from representing the parties in litigation.   In this event, both parties must hire new attorneys to represent their interests going forward.

During the process, the Agreement also serves as a constant reference point to remind the “team” of the collaborative principles.  It often helps to re-focus  the parties, or the professionals , should the discussions go off track in a Collaborative Divorce Buffalo.  

In a typical Collaborative Law Proceeding, the participation agreement will be reviewed in detail at the first session, and both parties will have the opportunity to ask any questions they may have concerning its terms and provisions. After obtaining a pledge from both parties to abide by the terms and principles set forth in the agreement, all members of the “collaborative law team” will sign the agreement. In some cases,  much of the first session is taken up with a review of the agreement.

How Much Does it Cost for a Collaborative Divorce in Buffalo?

How Much Does it Cost for a Collaborative Divorce in Buffalo?

The cost of a collaborative divorce Buffalo ultimately reflects the time required by the professionals involved, which depends on the complications of the divorce, and how well both parties can participate.

Collaborative divorce Buffalo can be much faster and less expensive, and relatively more tolerable than a traditional divorce.

Collaborative divorce Buffalo cuts out the need to spend hours in court since everything is handled by the parties and their lawyers together, instead of having to attend court meetings and get involved in a public and expensive trial.

You and your soon-to-be-ex, will each be in contact initially with your own respected and trained lawyer, and lay out what you would like the outcome to be. The rest is handled in 4-way meetings with both spouses and their attorneys talking with each other. Often other professionals, especially mental health professionals and specially trained divorce financial planners, are brought in to assist in the process as neutrals. The duration of the process depends on the 2 parties involved, as everyone will adhere to agreed upon scheduled dates to meet.

It’s difficult to predict the cost before knowing your situation. Your best bet in your specific case is to get an estimate from one of many trained, collaborative lawyers in an office consultation.

We have some experts right here on our page for you to look at, all specially trained in collaborative divorce matters, so everything you need is right at your fingertips and only a click away. Don’t struggle with old methods of divorce or try to handle the situation yourself. This is not the best of times to add to the already high stress levels you might be experiencing.

Our lawyers have years of experience in the field of collaborative divorce and can help you get what you need in the best way possible.

Should I get a Collaborative Divorce?

Life doesn’t always work out the way we want it to, as you surely know. When divorce is at your doorstep, Collaborative divorce Buffalo can simplify the process significantly.

Many people opt for collaborative divorce Buffalo because it allows both parties to handle the matter in a participatory, respectful manner. In the typical adversarial divorce process, your lawyer will handle your claims and disputes with the lawyer of your soon- to- be- former partner. Since there is little interaction between the parties involved other than through attorneys, this promotes continuing conflict between the two spouses. The traditional adversarial divorce can be a very stressful, expensive and emotional procedure indeed, but with Collaborative divorce Buffalo much of the burden can be relieved.

I’ve known of friends who have bickered for years during the divorce process, prolonging the divorce far too long and wrecking each other emotionally and financially. There’s no need to do that any longer. With a collaborative divorce, the process of settling your differences is handled in joint meetings with both spouses and each of your lawyers. You will consult with your lawyer before and between the joint meetings. All your goals, issues and concerns are discussed at the joint meetings, so that you can negotiate a fair settlement in all respects.

Collaborative divorce Buffalo is the best way for many couples to come to an agreement and prevent unnecessary arguments and confrontation. The lawyers will guide the participants in a professional and fair manner. If there are any children involved, both parties will be encouraged to come to an agreement in the best interests of the children, to prevent emotional damage that might be done as a result of the separation. Sometimes a neutral ‘Allied Professional’ mental health professional, trained the the Collaborative process, will be mutually retained to assist in children’s issues.
Minimizing the conflict between the parties involved has never been easier than now, since with a collaborative divorce, there is controlled contact with the other party, with your attorneys present and a commitment to develop an equitable settlement. This is a more diplomatic, more respectful and responsible way of going about things. Often Collaborative divorces are vastly less expensive than the adversarial alternative. Collaborative divorce is definitely something to consider, if you want to more clearly direct your own and your family’s future.

What is Collaborative Divorce Buffalo?

What is Collaborative Divorce Buffalo?

Having seen how many of my own personal friends argued and bickered over simple things, as well as more important matters, during their divorces,
I’ve always thought that there had to be an easier way to divorce.

There is.

Collaborative Divorce Buffalo can allow the process of finalizing a divorce to proceed faster, in a less destructive and much less expensive fashion than the traditional adversarial procedures involving the 2 parties arguing through their attorneys in Court.

Collaborative Divorce Buffalo is a modern method of breaking the ties between spouses. Often, when two parties file for a divorce, matters become controlled by the Courts and are frequently adversarial, fostering a win-lose mindset.

Collaborative divorce Buffalo applies an out-of-Court, alternative dispute resolution process (ADR) . In collaborative divorce proceedings, the lawyers of both parties are retained only to work together with their clients to help them come to a mutual agreement.

At the start of the collaborative divorce, the parties involved agree they want control over and constant involvement in the out-of-Court resolution process. They each retain attorneys who have been specially trained in the collaborative process.
Everyone (clients, attorneys and any other professionals added to the team) agree that there will be no litigation involved. They draw up a Participation Agreement which reflects this, and provides for full disclosure of all information, and that their goal is to reach an equitable settlement. To protect the confidentiality of the collaborative meetings, this agreement will state that both lawyers must withdraw from the case in the event that a settlement cannot be agreed upon, and also may not take part in any ensuing litigation.

The commitments in Collaborative divorce are outlined in the Participation Agreement, which contains certain provisions, most commonly:
• Any issues will be handled in an interest-based, non-adversarial manner.
• Both parties agree that the process of reaching an agreement will always involve meetings at which both clients and lawyers are present all
together.
• Both parties should have their kids’ best interests at heart to minimize the risk of emotional or psychological damage that can be caused by
the divorce process.
• The agreement will be fair and offer mutual advantages to both parties involved.
• Neutral experts might be called upon to handle unresolved issues.
• Collaborative proceedings are private and confidential

Collaborative divorce Buffalo has become increasingly popular throughout the USA and Western Europe in recent years, with adversarial methods fading away slowly but surely. There are many advantages to selecting a Collaborative divorce process, which, if successful, can result in a faster, less expensive, less stressful and more just outcome for all parties involved.