ANNE ARUNDEL COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE

An Out-of-Court Process

Supported by Maryland’s Best Divorce Professionals

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A Better Way to Divorce

The Anne Arundel Collaborative Divorce Professionals is a group of interdisciplinary professionals dedicated to resolving conflicts in the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, and division of marital property (financial accounts, retirement assets, real property, and other assets).

Collaborative Divorce is a non-adversarial process with specially trained lawyers, mental health professionals, and financial professionals who assist the parties to reach mutually agreeable settlements that are created by the people involved, not the court. In a collaborative divorce case, everyone works together with the commitment of all participants who will engage in a process requiring full disclosure of information by the parties and a commitment to resolve all issues without resorting to litigation. Collaborative Divorce is especially effective for individuals whose relationship will continue after their separation or divorce is finalized.

The members of the Anne Arundel Collaborative Divorce Professionals are committed to offering clients a respectful way to resolve conflict. It also has the potential to reduce the cost of the overall divorce by streamlining the discovery of financial and other relevant information.

 

Watch this video to learn about Collaborative Divorce and why it might be the best option for you.

Why People are Choosing Collaborative Divorce is copyrighted by International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. All rights reserved. No part of this movie may be edited or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without prior written permission.

Your Divorce Options

Collaborative Divorce is one of five possible processes a couple can use to reach an acceptable agreement. How is Collaborative Divorce different from the other four options?

DIY

While Do-It-Yourself may appear to be the cheapest approach, in the long run it is often more expensive because the agreements made are not durable and enforceable. What was intended to be an inexpensive and quick resolution to your dispute becomes a drawn out and expensive process to correct the deficiencies. Also, people using the DIY approach may be giving up, or waiving, important legal rights they did not know they had under Maryland law. The Collaborative Approach provides the ability for spouses or participants to communicate directly with each other while also having legal, financial, and emotional support to expedite an effective divorce settlement.

Mediation

Mediation may be an appropriate choice If the issues in the divorce are relatively straightforward, there are few  disputes, and the mediator is equippped to supply the necessary support to address the couple’s financial, emotional, and parenting issues. Mediators, though, even lawyer-mediators, cannot provide legal advice, only legal information. Moreover, most mediators are not equipped to handle complex divorce financial issues, child-centered disputes, or difficult personalities. The Collaborative Approach provides legal, financial, and emotional guidance while still allowing you and your spouse to communicate directly. 

Attorney Negotiation

 An attorney-negotiated settlement can be inefficient, time-consuming, and expensive. You talk to your attorney, who talks to your spouse’s attorney, who talks to your spouse. Much can be lost in translation and can be very slow. The Collaborative Approach allows direct, real-time communication with your spouse which prevents misunderstandings, allows the process to move forward more efficiently, and is less costly.

Litigation

Litigation is widely recognized as the worst way to resolve family disputes. The resolution of a divorce case in litigation can take years of information exchange (“discovery”), hearings, motions, and trial. The Court process is adversarial, dehumanizing, cumbersome, and expensive. Collaborative Divorce is instead cooperative, efficient, and it effectively deals with the issues most important to the couple.

Your Collaborative Divorce Team

Your Collaborative Divorce core team will include an attorney for each spouse, a financial professional, and a mental health professional who serves as a coach.

Attorneys

The collaborative attorneys serve as consultants and advisors with respect to all legal aspects of your separation and divorce. The attorneys will help you develop and convey proposals during your negotiations as well as evaluate proposals made by your spouse and his or her attorney. At the conclusion of the collaborative process, the attorneys will work together to prepare a binding separation agreement and property settlement. They can also, at the appropriate time, file and manage the divorce action so that neither of you has to go to court. The attorneys will also prepare any domestic relations orders needed for you to transfer retirement assets, such as 401(k) and pension plan benefits.

Financial Professional

The financial professional serves as a neutral to  assist you and your spouse in gathering, organizing, and analyzing the financial information needed to make decisions about the division of assets and liabilities and support. He or she can assist both of you in budgeting for your separate living expenses. He or she understands complicated executive compensation and benefits and the ways small business owners generate income and can make recommendations regarding spousal support or alimony. Additionally, the financial neutral can help you understand the costs and benefits of the division of assets, including retirement plans.

Divorce Coach

The divorce coach helps you manage the often intense emotions that accompany a decision to separate. Although the coach does not function as a therapist for purposes of providing mental health treatment, she or he facilitates clear communication between you and your spouse. The coach enables and empowers you and your spouse to openly discuss your needs throughout the negotiations. The coach also models and teaches nonviolent communication skills that may benefit both parties in their current and future relationships. This can be particularly helpful if you and your spouse have children, as you will maintain a lifelong relationship as co-parents.

Depending on your specific situation and needs, your Collaborative team may also include these and other members:

Child Specialist

The Child Specialist helps parents understand the developmental needs of their children and how their conflict impacts them. Depending upon the family dynamics, the Child Specialist may provide information about the children’s perspective and concerns for the parents’ consideration when creating their parenting plans.

Real Estate Professional

The divorce Real Estate professional brings training, knowledge, skills and tools to ensure divorcing couples will experience a Real Estate sale or purchase with low conflict and minimal challenges. A divorce Real Estate Professonial works to minimize conflict between the spouses by providing neutral communication and representation.

Mortgage Professional

A divorce Mortgage Professional helps divorcing homeowners make a more informed decision regarding their home equity solutions and assists the rest of the Collaborative Divorce team in identifying any potential conflicts between the divorce settlement, the mortgage, and the real property.

Get In Touch

Please use this form to send a general message to AACP or click on the Our Professionals page to directly connect with one of our Collaborative Divorce professionals.