Need an attorney? Talk to Mark Today
At The Law Office of Mark Upright, our Asheville collaborative divorce attorney is an experienced, solutions-centered advocate for people and families. With a focus on helping our clients avoid a prolonged dispute, our law firm is committed to protecting your rights and your interests. If you have any questions or concerns about the collaborative divorce process, we are here to help. To book a free, no-obligation initial consultation with a North Carolina collaborative divorce lawyer, please do not hesitate to contact us at our Asheville law office today.
Collaborative divorce is a specialized process through which a divorcing couple can negotiate the terms of their separation in a cooperative and confidential manner. Using a combination of mediation and negotiation, the collaborative divorce process is designed to help a separating couple come to an amicable solution that works best for their specific situation. A relatively new option in North Carolina, collaborative divorce is growing rapidly in popularity.
Collaborative divorce proceedings in North Carolina are governed by NC Gen Stat § 50-70. Under the law, collaborative divorce is defined as “an alternative to judicial disposition” that is conducted under a collaborative law agreement using collaborative law procedures. Here are four key things to know about how the collaborative law process actually works in North Carolina:
Parties must agree that they want to make a good-faith effort to work out a divorce settlement;
Parties will be represented by their own collaborative law attorney—but they will work in a non-adversarial setting.
Parties must sign a participation agreement acknowledging that they will attempt to resolve their issue in a fully confidential, collaborative law setting.
Parties can leave the collaborative divorce process at any point in time—but when they do so, both collaborative law attorneys will withdraw representation.
Collaborative divorce is an effective option for many couples. There are a number of different potential advantages to utilizing the collaborative law process to negotiate a settlement of your divorce. Here are five of the most notable benefits of collaborative divorce in North Carolina:
Preserve Relationships: Collaborative divorce emphasizes cooperative problem-solving. It changes divorce from a “win-lose” paradigm to a “win-win” paradigm. It can help to limit conflict and preserve relationships.
Save Time and Money: Divorce litigation can be time-consuming and expensive. In contrast, collaborative divorce can produce a faster, less costly solution. Divorcing couples may be able to save time and money.
Flexibility: The actual collaborative process itself varies significantly from divorce to divorce. Every divorcing couple’s relationship is different. The process is informal enough and flexible enough that it can be modified to suit your needs.
Strictly Private: Divorce is emotional and personal. Few people want their divorce as part of the public record. Collaborative law proceedings in North Carolina are confidential. Nothing said in a collaborative divorce setting becomes a public record.
Fully Voluntary: You can always give collaborative divorce a try, even if you are not sure that it is the right solution for your case. It is a fully voluntary process. Either spouse has the right to withdraw if they believe that a settlement simply cannot be reached.
Getting a divorce is never easy—even if both you and your partner agree that it is the right path forward. Our founder, Mark Upright, is a family lawyer with deep experience handling collaborative law. We are prepared to begin working with you right away. When you reach out to our Asheville office, you will have a chance to speak to a North Carolina collaborative divorce attorney who can:
Hear your story and answer your questions during a free initial consultation;
Provide a detailed overview of what you can expect from the collaborative divorce process;
Gather all of the documents and information that you will need to move forward;
Represent you in collaborative divorce negotiations; and
Take whatever legal action is needed to help you and your family get the best outcome.
You can use the collaborative divorce process to work on all family law issues that are relevant in your court. Among other things, collaborative divorce can be used to deal with:
Alimony (spousal support);
Child support; and
Any other family law matters.
Ultimately, the core goal of the collaborative law process is to provide an atmosphere in which spouses can work together to reach a comprehensive divorce settlement.
No. Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) that is designed to help parties reach a settlement. While collaborative divorce shares some similarities with mediation, it is a distinct legal process. There are some specialized procedural rules and regulations that apply to North Carolina’s collaborative law process. If you have any questions about whether mediation or collaborative divorce is the better option for your situation, an experienced Asheville, NC family law attorney can help.
No. In North Carolina, neither spouse can be compelled to participate in the collaborative divorce process. As noted previously, it is fully voluntary. Collaborative divorce is an excellent legal tool for many couples who are going through a separation and need to work certain issues out—but no one can be required to use it.
At The Law Office of Mark Upright, our North Carolina collaborative divorce lawyer is devoted to helping clients find amicable, cost-effective solutions. If you want more information about the collaborative divorce process, we are more than happy to help. Give us a call now or send us a direct message to schedule a free, strictly confidential consultation.
From our Asheville law office, we provide collaborative divorce representation throughout the state, including in Fletcher, Weaverville, Arden, Hendersonville, Flat Rock, Black Mountain, Hot Springs, Canton, and Marshall.