Stallard and Bellof Logo
Collaborative Divorce - a couple with their lawyer in agreement about their divorce
Stallard and Bellof Logo

Collaborative Divorce in North Carolina: A Kinder, Gentler Divorce

Collaborative Divorce in North Carolina: A Kinder, Gentler Divorce

Collaborative Divorce - a couple with their lawyer in agreement about their divorce

Divorce, undoubtedly one of life’s most challenging experiences, can exacerbate a couple’s existing problems due to the often adversarial and emotionally taxing process in the court system.

Recognizing the profound toll this can take on individuals and families, a growing number of professionals in North Carolina have been championing a more humane and constructive method of divorce, one that seeks to preserve the dignity of everyone involved.

This approach is known as collaborative divorce, a process where both spouses work together, with the support of various professionals, to navigate the complexities of separation in a cooperative and respectful manner.

The Collaborative Divorce Team

In a collaborative divorce in North Carolina, each spouse hires an attorney who provides legal guidance and represents them throughout the entire process.

Additionally, both spouses may choose to enlist the help of a coach, usually a therapist, who plays a crucial role in helping individuals understand their emotions and providing guidance on effective communication with their soon-to-be ex-spouse.

This emotional support is especially vital when children are involved, as the ability of parents to coexist amicably significantly benefits their children’s well-being. In many cases, a neutral financial advisor is also retained to examine the financial aspects of the divorce, including budgets, and provide financial transparency to all parties. Lastly, a therapist may work with the children, ensuring their needs are considered and prioritized throughout the process.

The Collaborative Process

The collaborative divorce process entails a series of meetings, some with professionals and others with just the spouses involved. These meetings are designed to address various aspects of the divorce, both emotional and financial.

Individuals can work with their coaches individually to tackle their personal challenges and prepare emotionally for the divorce’s inevitable changes. Simultaneously, attorneys meet with their clients privately. However, joint meetings also occur, bringing together both parties and their respective attorneys to facilitate negotiations.

While the collaborative divorce process takes time, it often leads to an agreement that all parties are content with, and more importantly, can live with in the future. This thorough negotiation process can prevent many of the complications that often arise in the aftermath of traditional divorces.

The Legal Framework

One distinctive aspect of the collaborative divorce process is that it encourages the parties involved to find solutions that work for everyone, unlike traditional divorces, which can lead to contentious court battles.

If, however, the collaborative process fails and one party decides to file a lawsuit, the collaborative divorce lawyers cannot represent their clients in court. This unique feature of the process keeps it open and allows for more open and honest discussions during meetings, as statements made cannot be used against any of the parties in court. This incentivizes all involved parties to invest in finding an equitable and mutually satisfactory resolution.

Is Collaborative Divorce for Everyone?

Collaborative divorce may not be suitable for every couple. It requires both spouses’ consent, active participation, and commitment to doing the necessary work to reach an agreement.

While it may involve more effort compared to traditional divorce, many find it worth the investment, as it can pave the way for a smoother transition into the next chapter of their lives. Additionally, it holds the potential to make the divorce experience more tolerable for the children of divorcing couples, ensuring their well-being remains a priority.

Final Thoughts About Collaborative Divorce

In North Carolina, collaborative divorce is emerging as a viable and compassionate alternative to the traditional adversarial approach. By bringing together legal, emotional, and financial professionals, this method places the well-being of individuals and families at the forefront of the divorce process, offering hope for a more amicable and dignified separation.

Picture of Carolyn Bellof

Carolyn Bellof

Carolyn Bellof is a Certified Family Law Specialist in North Carolina. She brings empathy and a personal understanding of loss and resilience to her clients, ensuring their legal needs are protected during emotionally challenging family law proceedings.

Share Article

Ready to navigate your divorce with compassion and cooperation? Contact us to explore the benefits of Collaborative Divorce today and start your journey toward an amicable separation.

Scroll to Top
Call Now Button