Collaborative Divorce

  Posted on May 31, 2016

Collaborative divorce, is it right for your situation? That depends on many factors. A key factor is, the amount of money you want to spend on your divorce. A collaborative divorce is expensive. Plan on spending at least $25,000 if you take this route. It is often far more than this amount. If you are interviewing collaborative attorneys, ask them to give you the names of past clients and ask if you can speak with those clients about the cost of their collaborative divorce. In a recent collaborative case (completed in the spring of 2016), the couple had to cash out part of their retirement savings to pay the collaborative attorney fees…

Collaborative divorce typically includes two attorneys, a financial neutral and a coach. Typical retainer fees for these professionals which are paid before any work has started is $10,000. That seems like a lot of money to be paid before any work is done…

Regardless of the divorce process you choose, you can keep professional fees to a minimum if you can communicate directly with your spouse to review the parenting plan and settlement issues. For instance, determining where the kids will be for the holidays and even the daily schedule is probably a topic that is best handled by the parents rather than discussed by attorneys and paying their hourly fee. If you can have a parenting discussion with your spouse, that also sets a good example for effective co-parenting in addition to saving you money. You should of course consult with your attorney about the parenting plan so they can give you legal advice. Even if you think you have the parenting plan worked out, consult with your attorney. You have probably not been divorced before… The attorney has worked on hundreds or thousands of parenting plans and can offer important insights. Be sure to ask your attorney to explain the tax issues of child support, who will qualify to take the tax exemption / tax credit for the children and who will qualify to be head of household / receive that favorable tax filing status.

Posted in: Finances