Negotiating a separation agreement involves a less formal process than collaborative law and typically involves two lawyers communicating on their clients’ behalves about the financial and parenting issues that arise on separation. If there are certain issues one or both spouses will likely not agree on, the parties can litigate those issues, or hire a mediator to help resolve them. If spouses reach agreement on all outstanding issues either with our assistance or on their own, we will prepare a separation agreement that sets out the terms agreed upon by the spouses.
Like a collaborative approach, depending on you and your spouse’s ability to settle your differences, there are both financial and emotional advantages to negotiating your family law issues through a separation agreement, when compared to both litigation and mediation. The key difference from the collaborative law process is that neither of you make any promises to the other about how you will behave during the negotiation.
Whether negotiating a separation agreement is the right approach for you will depend on how quickly you believe you and your spouse can reach an agreement on your issues, how willing you are to disclose the information necessary to reach a settlement, and how patient you can be if there are bumps in the road.