The collaborative law divorce process differs in a variety of different ways from the divorce litigation process. It differs in ways that may be beneficial to divorcing couples and that divorcing spouses should be familiar with. One important aspect of the collaborative divorce process is that it does not require the discovery process. This can significantly lower costs of the divorce for the divorcing couple. The discovery process can be one of the most costly aspects of the divorce litigation.
Advantages of the absence of the discovery process
The discovery process can be intensive and time consuming for both spouses. Written discovery requests are sent to each spouse by the other that will request they produce years of documents relating to income, expenses, assets and liabilities. It is time consuming for the spouse to locate and produce these documents, for the attorneys to prepare the documents to be sent over and still more time consuming for the documents to be reviewed by each side. In addition, the production obligations are ongoing during the divorce process so, for example, bank statements will need to be produced on an ongoing basis until the divorce process is concluded.
Unlike divorce litigation, during the collaborative divorce process, documents are produced on a voluntary basis and formal discovery requests are not made. In addition, there is not the same level of concern about non-disclosure because both spouses agree at the outset of the collaborative divorce process to fully disclose assets, liabilities, income and assets. The spouses agree not to hide anything which should lead to fewer surprises.
There are no depositions as well
In addition, there are no depositions taken during the collaborative divorce process. All information is provided freely and discussed during collaborative divorce meetings. Transparency and the agreement to work together is a cornerstone of the collaborative divorce process and what helps it be a less time consuming and costly process divorcing couples should consider when entering their divorce.