There are many advantages offered a divorcing couple who choose to go through the collaborative divorce process as opposed to the traditional litigious divorce process.  The forensic accountant involved can play a key role in each of these advantages.  The following lists five key reasons why collaborative divorce can be a more advantageous process.

Less Time

The length of time needed for a collaborative divorce is often substantially less than that of the traditional divorce process, where the parties are at the mercy of the court’s schedule.  The traditional divorce process could last for years, not only in waiting for the court’s availability but also in completing the tedious process of document sharing and compilation.   By contrast, the collaborative divorce process often takes 2-6 months and can be accomplished over several sessions assisted by a neutral forensic accountant.

Less Money

In traditional divorce, since each spouse is zealously represented by their respective attorneys, it is no surprise that these proceedings are quite costly due to the extensive time involved in building a case for one’s positions, often with the assistance of one or more forensic accountants or business appraisers.  In collaborative divorce, the parties pay for one forensic accountant that acts as a neutral, unbiased financial advisor, rather than each spouse paying for their own forensic experts.

Less Emotion

Collaborative divorce addresses not only the legal issues but the emotional issues as well.  In traditional divorce, children are often caught between dueling spouses.  It is not uncommon for one or both spouses to attempt to use children as leverage in building their case.  Since collaborative divorce encourages cooperation and transparency, the process takes less of an emotional toll on the spouses and any children involved.  The neutral forensic accountant involved is often able to quickly interpret and provide facts helpful to resolve such spousal dueling.

Better Result

In traditional litigated divorce, the court makes the calls.  This means that essentially everything that matters to you – the division of your assets and liabilities, alimony awards, child support, and timesharing arrangements with your children – is left up to one person: the judge.  Letting a judge decide your fate is often a very dangerous position.  The judge rarely, if ever, awards one spouse with everything he or she wants and often awards the spouses with what neither wants, since this arbiter of truth can never know fully the intricacies of your specific situation.  Certain assets, for example, carry far more emotional value than others to a particular spouse.  By contrast, the collaborative divorce process produces tailor-made final agreements that are typically more detailed and comprehensive than any order a judge would issue.

Better Relationships

Collaborative divorce considers the big picture – the impact of future relationships.  No child should ever have to suffer through the slings and arrows of a court battle – particularly one in which they see mom or dad displaying such insolent hostility toward one another, often pitting their children against the other spouse or forcing them to take sides.  Countless studies highlight the often permanent damage that divorce can inflict upon a child.  It is, therefore, imperative that the spouses agree to settle matters in a civilized way.  The collaborative divorce process requires both parties to not only be cordial to each other but to ensure the absolute minimal amount of disruptions to their children’s lives.  The neutral forensic accountant can assist in the sharing and explaining of key financial issues so that both spouses and their children can gain a firm financial foundation and focus their attention on building relationships moving forward.