Uncontested vs. Cooperative/Collaborative Divorce: A quick explanation

Posted by William H. Sherman on Jan 16, 2022 | 0 Comments

The divorce rate in the state of Georgia is one of the highest in the country. Divorce has many causes including infidelity, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, violence, mental abuse. So once you and your spouse have decided to get divorced, you may think that means that it is “uncontested” since you both agree to the divorce.

Why do a cooperative/collaborative divorce?

While your spouse may not contest the actual divorce (he or she may want to get divorced as well) there may be terms of the divorce that they are not in agreement with, although they do want to get divorced. This may mean that your divorce could be what's referred to as cooperative or collaborative, meaning both parties work together with their attorneys to work out the details of the case without having to go to court and without having to fight in front of a judge or a jury about issues of custody, visitation, child support, alimony, or how debts should be apportioned.

How do I know if my case will be cooperative/collaborative?

If you and your spouse are reasonably discussing the terms of the divorce and are in agreement about most items, your case could be cooperative/collaborative.

Speaking with a Georgia divorce and family law attorney about the terms is always a good idea, but it's fine to try to work with your spouse to resolve things amicably. As divorce lawyers, many times we will help couples work through the issues and maintain a cooperative/collaborative divorce posture. We have helped couples be cooperative and collaborative even it didn't start that way.

By way of example, we helped a couple become collaborative even though the wife caught her husband in a relationship with her sister. We took a difficult situation where the wife ran-up debts approaching one million dollars that her husband didn't know about and made it cooperative. And we took a situation where a husband was a verbally abusive alcoholic, and by the end of the divorce, it was a fully collaborative endeavor.   

What if my spouse wants something that I'm not willing to give?

If it becomes an issue that a specific term is the “hang up,” your attorney can try to work to find a solution that everyone can live with. We work to find common ground if at all possible. If an agreement cannot be made, your case will transition to a contested divorce.

My spouse and I have children, can our case be cooperative/collaborative?

Absolutely, we did it all of the time, as long as everyone is on the same page. Let's try to make it cooperative/collaborative, if possible. If you and your spouse are in agreement as to custody, parenting time, and support, your case could certainly be cooperative/collaborative.

My spouse and I have worked everything out and we just want an attorney to help us with the documents, is that possible?

In Georgia, an attorney can only represent one party. That said, the attorney can work with one party on the terms and assist with the document preparation. We prepare many divorces where there is no argument about any issues.

When you want a Georgia uncontested divorce or a collaborative/cooperative divorce, call us at 678-215-4106.cu

About the Author

William H. Sherman

With a professional background that includes serving as a Senior Assistant County Attorney and as an Assistant Attorney General, attorney William H. Sherman has great experience, a broad range of legal knowledge and a proven record of success.  Each of Mr. Sherman's clients gets the full benefit of his experience.  Because attorney Sherman has worked for governmental organizations, large corporations and clerked for a judge, he has handled a wide variety of cases from negotiation and trial to successful appeal. Mr. Sherman is very proud of his reputation as a problem-solver who is always available to his clients.  Active in the community, Mr. Sherman and his wife, attorney Valerie Sherman, support many community organizations, sports teams and charities.  Call him now and let his experience work for you.

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