The Collaborative Approach can save separating couples a significant amount of money relative to the normal, court-orientated approach. Contrary to popular belief, each spouse still retains their own lawyer, so these cost savings don’t arise as a result of cutting legal fees in half by working with a single lawyer representing both parties. In fact, the process is predicated upon each spouse having his or her own lawyer who is trained in the Collaborative Approach.
In general, the Collaborative Approach generates cost savings for separating spouses in the following three ways:
- Jointly retaining experts like a pension or business valuator in order to avoid the sometimes lengthy and expensive process of each side retaining their own expert and avoids the necessity of rebuttals and responses between experts. This is of particular importance for self-employed individuals where the bulk of their assets and income is derived from self-owned businesses.
- Agreeing not to go to court means that there are no lengthy court costs to cover. It is not unheard of for trials to cost tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.
- Shorter resolution times: As the collaborative approach is rooted in open communication and information sharing to get an acceptable settlement for both parties, this helps to eliminate the lengthy process of documentation disclosure and refusals that typically occur during the normal court-orientated separation approach.
In addition to significant cost savings the Collaborative Approach also operates with the intention of getting the family (that is, both spouses and the children) through the separation process in the most amicable and timely way as possible.
While there is no guarantee that the Collaborative Approach will be cheaper than the standard, adversarial approach to marital breakups, many couples will find that the Collaborative Approach results in quicker resolutions, less conflict, and lower costs.
Matthew Krofchick, CMA, CBV, CMC, has assisted in the valuation of many businesses at Krofchick Valuation Partners. Matthew’s financial background is applied daily to reviewing and creating financial modeling for business valuation and litigation support reports.