Collaborative Divorce in New Jersey
This blog post is the first in a series of three posts that will explain the basic contours of the collaborative divorce process in New Jersey. A good place to start a blog post series on collaborative divorce is to enumerate the pros and cons of the collaborative process vis-a-vis the traditional divorce process. In general, the pros and cons are as follows:
• enables the divorcing couple, not a judge, to determine the terms of the divorce.
• encourages mutual respect.
• focuses on the needs of the children.
• keeps private information out of the public domain, unlike in a traditional divorce.
• usually costs less and takes less time than a traditional divorce.
• is not for everyone, particularly parties unwilling to negotiate.
• if a settlement cannot be reached, the couple's attorneys are required to withdraw from the case, and the parties would need to hire new attorneys to bring their case to court.
Note that in those situations where an agreement cannot be reached, the parties involved in the collaborative process will end up with a divorce process that is both more costly than the traditional divorce track, and likely more time consuming. That is because, where an agreement cannot be reached through the collaborative process, the parties in effect then have to start from the beginning of the traditional process.
That is, instead of keeping costs down and expediting the divorce, the collaborative process ends up grafted on top of the traditional process, exposing the unfortunate parties to an unwanted grand tour of New Jersey divorce methodologies. It is important, then, that parties contemplating using collaborative divorce be honest with themselves concerning their capacity to reach an agreement and their capacity to act civilly toward one another.
How Collaborative Divorce Works
Here is how the collaborative divorce process works in New Jersey:
First, both spouses meet with their respective Collaborative attorneys to discuss individual needs and concerns. Then, the couple and their attorneys meet in a series of four-way sessions to reach a settlement without involving the court. Every issue – including property division, parenting time allocation, and financial support – are discussed in these sessions. At times, on an as needed basis, other professionals including mental health professionals and financial experts may become part of the “team” to assist couples in reaching amicable resolutions. Divorcing parties benefit from the skills, advice, and support of attorneys and other professionals experienced in the collaborative process while striving to work issues out in a positive, future-focused manner. When a settlement is reached, attorneys file the appropriate paperwork required by the court, and the divorce is then finalized on an uncontested basis.
Obtain an Experienced Collaborative Divorce Lawyer
Call Vincent C. DeLuca, Esquire to further discuss the collaborative divorce process. Vincent C. DeLuca of Villani & DeLuca, P.C., is certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court as a Matrimonial Attorney. Mr. DeLuca is one of a limited number of attorneys to hold the prestigious certification of Matrimonial Attorney in New Jersey. Mr. Deluca, whose practice is devoted to Family Law in Ocean County and Monmouth County, is one of only five Matrimonial Attorneys on the Roster of Mediators for Economic Aspects of Family Law in Ocean County, New Jersey. Call Villani & DeLuca, P.C. at (732) 709-7757.
For further information also see: Jersey Shore Collaborative Law Group