Consultation

A consultation divorce, also known as a collaborative divorce, is a new way of resolving disputes in divorce cases.

What does such a consultation process look like?

 

Where do I begin? How do I find a consultation lawyer? How do I get all of the heirs to agree to and participate in this process?

 

Request our brochure about a consultation process. Read through the information and the draft participant agreement. Let your ex-partner know that you’re interested in a consultation process and send the brochure. This way, your ex-partner can read up on what such a process entails. In the meantime, please contact one of our lawyer-mediators. She will be happy to provide you with more information. All parties involved are welcome to also call her for more information. She will be able to refer them to other suitable consultation attorneys.

 

STEP 1: Putting together a team

The team is formed. The ex-partners appoint their own consultation lawyer. If necessary, the lawyers discuss the need for a coach with the ex-partners. The coach supervises the process and conversations. Often times, this coach is a psychologist. The lawyers prepare each conversation with their clients. The lawyers and the coach also discuss the case. Other experts may be required. Consider, for example, a financial advisor or a tax advisor. The need for additional expertise will be discussed with the ex-partners and appointed accordingly.

STEP 2: Initial meeting

During the initial meeting we discuss the rules of the game, so that they are clear for everyone. These guidelines are laid out in the participants agreement. The process begins after the agreement has been discussed and signed by the ex-partners, the lawyers and any coaches or other specialists involved. We decide which topics need to be discussed and look for a solution for urgent issues. We then make arrangements for how to work from here.

STEP 3: Working on communication

We work on mutual communication; what is actually the core problem? Is there old pain getting in the way that needs to be addressed?

STEP 4: Collecting information

Relevant data and information is collected and shared. This is necessary to continue with the process. The ex-partners negotiate each problem that requires a solution. Then they reach agreements.

STEP 5: Reaching agreements

The lawyers confirm the agreements in a divorce settlement and a parental plan. Once everyone agrees on the content, the spouses sign both documents. The lawyers submit the request for divorce, including requests to ratify the divorce agreement and the parental plan. This means that the agreements made are also registered with the court.

STEP 6: Executing agreements

Then the agreements are executed. A home, for example, might be sold and belongings distributed as discussed during mediation.

What can I do myself?

1. APPROACH YOUR PARTNER:
Share with your partner the option of consultation to handle the divorce. Refer him or her to the website of the Collaborative Professionals Association for more information (www.vvcp.nl). Your partner can find his or her own consultation lawyer here.

2. COLLECT INFORMATION:
You can ask your consultation lawyer for a list of all the information needed for the divorce. Create a folder and begin gathering this information. The more information you can find ahead of time, the better your consultation lawyer can help you.

3. CONSIDER A PARENTAL PLAN AHEAD OF TIME:
With your partner - if you have children - try to come up with a parental plan before beginning consultation.  The parental plan contains your agreements about the children. Drawing up a parental plan is a precondition to getting a divorce. You can request a model parental plan from your consultation lawyer.

The advantages of divorce in consultation

A consultation separation or collaborative divorce can be a suitable option when:

1. Court proceedings are going to be difficult and lengthy. The case is complicated because the situation or the relationship is complex.

2. The relationship between partners is very tense. It is better that each has his or her own lawyer. The lawyers guides, coaches and supports their clients in finding a solution.

3. The parties involved have different knowledge or come from a different background. When, for example, one person knows all there is to know about the assets and the other knows very little. The lawyers ensure that everyone has access to the same knowledge. This is a difference between consultation separation and mediation. Mediation brings parties to the table without their own lawyers.

Tips

Your situation is already difficult enough with a divorce coming up. Experience shows that these tips will help you get through the separation process more easily.

1. COME PREPARED:
Come prepared to the consultation. No matter how you approach it, divorce proceedings are costly. You pay a relatively high amount for something you thought would never happen to you and something you're not looking forward to. Be sure to have collected all of the information on the checklist provided by the lawyer. Having trouble finding some of the information? Of course, your lawyer can help you.

2. YOUR FINANCIAL STANDING AFTER THE DIVORCE
Look into your financial position after the divorce. What will your costs be? And your income? What tax allowances will you be entitled to after a divorce? What about child support, income dependent combination rebate, childcare allowance, etc. This will give you a little more certainty about your finances. The lawyer can of course assist you with this.

3. GET HELP:
If you are struggling emotionally to process the divorce, don't wait to seek professional help. When you spend too much time in the grief or anger phase of the "grieving process", it can prevent you from finding the right approach to think about the future.

What can I prepare?

Request the ‘Uiteen Divorce Package’. For further information and tips about what you can prepare ahead of time.

Request information

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