What is an Ohio Collaborative Divorce?

What is an Ohio Collaborative Divorce?
October 29, 2021 Shannon Dawes

Divorce is a very difficult matter to face. Some people find it easier to delay the decision to divorce due to the stress and conflict that usually accompanies the divorce process. Collaborative divorces are a different approach to divorce. The collaborative divorce model is comprised of a problem-solving approach where each party works with their attorneys and appropriate experts to discuss and make important decisions. One significant benefit of collaborative divorces is the substantial reduction in unnecessary conflict and legal fees. In this article, our firm answers two common questions concerning the collaborative divorce process in Ohio.

Do Ohio Courts Sanction Collaborative Divorces?

Ohio’s Collaborative Family Law Process Act emerged in the 1980s but was not effective until March 20, 2013. This act grants protections for the parties and secures the mandatory procedures that are part of the collaborative family law process. The act’s requirements include representation by collaborative family law attorneys and the execution of a collaborative participation agreement. Both parties and their lawyers are required to commit to the process without pursuing or threatening litigation. Should the parties fail to settle their issues, the parties may then proceed to litigation. However, they will be required to retain new lawyers.

The Benefits of an Ohio Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorces are not always the best option in every situation, but the parties could receive significant benefits where appropriate. A few of the most substantial benefits include:

Efficient Divorce Process: The typical divorce settles after tens of thousands of dollars have been spent on preparing for and conducting litigation. Should a divorce go into litigation, the parties must take depositions, participate in court hearings, undertake opposition research, prepare for trial, prepare and respond to discovery interview witnesses. Since the lawyers involved in the collaborative divorce are prevented from engaging in contested court proceedings, all of their time, effort and resources are dedicated to helping the couple settlement their divorce issues.

Protection of Privacy: Divorce proceedings are public proceedings, and they often involve the disclosure of damaging allegations and private financial affairs. Along with the release of personal information, the parties’ finances are exposed to business competitors, tax authorities, family members, and others. The Ohio collaborative divorce process offers privileged and confidential communications during the meetings.

Innovative Solutions: Parties who participate in the collaborative divorce process have more freedom to utilize creative solutions. For example, a divorcing couple could be able to agree to a “custody” schedule for the family dog. This type of order could be too difficult to obtain from a judge.

Our Ohio Collaborative divorce attorney at Dawes Legal, LLC represents clients in uncontested, collaborative, and high-conflict contested divorces. We take a solution-oriented approach to mitigate the anxiety and cost of the divorce process. We invite you to call us today 614-733-9999.