What is the Difference Between Litigated Divorce and Collaborative Divorce?

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Divorce can be a stressful and emotional process, but it doesn’t have to be combative or contentious. Understanding the differences between a litigated or collaborative divorce can help you make an informed decision that aligns with your goals and priorities.

1. Collaborative Divorce:

Collaborative divorce is a cooperative approach to divorce that aims to minimize conflict and promote open communication. In a collaborative divorce, both parties, along with their attorneys, commit to resolving issues through negotiation and compromise. Here are some key aspects of collaborative divorce:

a. Voluntary Process:

Collaborative divorce is a voluntary process, meaning both spouses must willingly participate and commit to resolving disputes amicably.

b. Open and Honest Communication:

The collaborative process emphasizes open and honest communication between spouses. Each party is encouraged to express their concerns and needs while actively listening to the other’s perspective.

c. No Court Intervention:

In a collaborative divorce, the goal is to reach a settlement agreement outside of the courtroom.

2. Litigated Divorce:

Litigated divorce is the traditional approach where both spouses present their case in a court of law, and a judge makes decisions on contested issues. Here’s an overview of litigated divorce:

a. Court Involvement:

In a litigated divorce, the court becomes heavily involved. The judge ultimately makes decisions on issues such as property division, child custody, and spousal support if the parties cannot reach an agreement.

b. Strict Legal Process:

Litigated divorce strictly follows the laws of Colorado and legal procedures. The parties rely on their attorneys to present their cases effectively and argue for their desired outcomes.

c. Potentially Lengthy and Costly:

Due to the formalities and court involvement, a litigated divorce can take longer to finalize and be more expensive than a collaborative divorce.

The approach you choose for your divorce should align with your unique circumstances and priorities. Here are a few factors to consider when deciding between collaborative and litigated divorce:

1. Communication: If you and your spouse can still communicate effectively and are willing to work together to reach a resolution, collaborative divorce may be a good option. However, if communication has broken down, and there is a high level of conflict, litigated divorce may be more appropriate.

2. Control and Flexibility: Collaborative divorce allows parties to have more control over the outcome and flexibility in finding creative solutions that meet their unique needs. In contrast, litigated divorce places decision-making power in the hands of the court.

3. Emotional Impact: Collaborative divorce focuses on minimizing animosity and preserving relationships, which can be especially beneficial when children are involved. Litigated divorce, on the other hand, can sometimes escalate tensions and prolong emotional distress.

4. Time and Cost: Collaborative divorce is generally more cost-effective and tends to be resolved more quickly compared to litigated divorce, which involves courtroom procedures and takes longer.

Contact the Drake Law Firm Today

Choosing between collaborative divorce and litigated divorce in requires careful consideration of your specific circumstances and priorities. If you need guidance or representation in your current or future divorce, contact us at the Drake Law Firm today by calling 303-261-8111.

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