Many couples in Los Angeles and across the nation that have been married for decades, have raised their families, and are facing or are in their retirement years are now contemplating getting a divorce. A "gray divorce" as these late-in-life divorces are called, presents issues that may differ from those younger divorcing couples may not face. While there likely is not child custody or child support issues to contend with if the couple's children are grown adults, couples going through a gray divorce will want to pay close attention to property division and spousal support, as these issues can affect their finances and what their retirement will look like post-divorce.
Therefore, even in a gray divorce, there is a lot at stake. Some couples may think that duking it out in a dramatic courtroom show-down is their only option. However, this can be cost a lot in time, money and can be emotionally draining. For these reasons, some may want to consider collaborative divorce instead.
In a collaborative divorce, both spouses and their attorneys sign a "participation agreement." In this agreement, the parties agree to settle things through collaborative divorce. If the process does not work and they must turn to litigation, their attorneys will need to bow out of the case, and the parties will need to get new attorneys. This gives everyone an incentive to making the collaborative divorce process work and will ensure that the information shared in the collaborative divorce process remains private. Through collaborative divorce, the parties and their attorneys along with other professionals will negotiate a divorce settlement.
Collaborative divorce has the advantage of allowing a couple to settle their divorce legal issues in a timelier manner than that litigation would take. In addition, collaborative divorce can be much cheaper than litigation, which could cost tens of thousands of dollars. Also, by working as a team to settle their divorce it sets the stage for positive interactions they will have with one another moving forward.
While a gray divorce may look different than a divorce between younger couples, in either case, both parties may have an interest in settling things privately, quietly, quicker and for less money. For some, a collaborative divorce can achieve these goals.