Benefits of the Collaborative Divorce Process During a Pandemic

The stress of this pandemic is taking a toll on families in all aspects of their lives from financial concerns to having to assist children with remote learning – all while trying to balance a new work-from-home routine. The legal industry is already predicting a surge in divorce filings after the stay-at-home orders are lifted. Staff at the New Hampshire Court System have already told us that scheduling hearings is going to be an extreme challenge due to the current back load of cases waiting for hearings to be rescheduled and new cases that have not even been processed yet.

Luckily, your Morneau Law Team has a great structure in place already which focuses first on settlement out of court rather than drawn out litigation.  We do our best to find creative solutions that allows our clients to find compromise and areas of agreement. And, even in cases where the parties do not communicate well or feel working together is impossible, we have options.

Collaborative Divorce participants have the opportunity (but not the obligation) to work with other experts to help them with specific parts of their case, and these experts often bill their time a lower rate than the lawyers. A mental health professional with Collaborative Divorce training, can meet with a couple to discuss the parenting plan and to help identify a spouse’s interests, goals and concerns. A financial professional can meet with a couple to compile all of the needed financial information, create an inventory of the marital estate, and work on budgeting and other financial issues. Use of these other professionals often is a more efficient use of financial resources.

Collaborative Divorce can also save money. For example, if there is any need to value any assets (a house, a business, etc), only one valuation expert is hired, only by agreement, and the expert is neutral. This means the expert is asked to do only their job and not to advocate for one spouse over another.

Collaborative Divorce offers creative solutions. Because participants are not relying on courts for answers, spouses are free to explore a lot of creative solutions to the issues presented in the case. This could go a long way as our stock market goes up and down, spouses may or may not have employment, children may or may not return to school, and no one knows how long our lives will be turned upside down.

Attorney Kate Morneau is trained in the collaborative divorce process.  This process allows couples to resolve their divorce with a team of experts to help guide them and streamline decisions.

“During this pandemic, I’ve settled cases from start to finish using the collaborative process without anyone leaving their homes.  There is no other process that is as supportive and adaptive as collaborative law. My clients that choose the collaborative process resolve their disputes respectfully and are able to co-parent as a team moving forward.

It is not an easy process. It forces the parties to come up with solutions and not just leave things to a judge to decide. I find that because of that, the agreements are more customized and tailored to meet my client’s needs. My collaborative cases are among the most rewarding work I do.”

–Kate Morneau 

Learn more about collaborative law here.

Collaborative Divorce participants do not rely on the courts or judges (or rules of procedure) to set deadlines or timelines for the case. All Collaborative Divorces move as fast or as slow as the spouses want to move. Morneau Law’s team of family law and divorce attorneys and paralegals are highly trained and are available to work with families in New Hampshire. At our first meeting with a new client we review the divorce process and options.  Mediation, the collaborative process, and litigation as a last resort are all gone through in detail.  We are able to help you determine what is the best fit for your unique situation. To discuss your family legal needs, please contact us by calling (603) 943-5647 to schedule a consultation.