In many cases, divorces are financially devastating. This is particularly true for farm families – many litigated outcomes can cause farmers’ operations to be irreparably crippled. The Collaborative Process can help farmers weather the storm of divorce better.
In the Collaborative Process, the separating spouses and their lawyers engage in 4-way meetings to find creative options for resolution.
This Process allows you to set your own agenda and timetable. The spouses identify the issues to be discussed. Depending on the complexity of the issues and the level of conflict, 5 topics could be discussed in one meeting, or one topic may take 5 meetings.
Costs can be reduced. Existing farm advisors may be asked to attend meetings or to provide reports or historical documentation. If it were a court process, experts who are strangers the operations are usually retained at significantly higher cost.
Once the Participation Agreement has been signed, the parties opt-out of the court process. This commitment encourages all parties to stay at the Collaborative table until a final agreement has been reached.
Parties can think outside the box in arriving at creative solutions that meet everyone’s needs. The decisions will all be made by the spouses, not by the lawyers and not by the courts. Lawyers have special training to assist clients to arrive at these solutions by finding common interests of the parties.
If succession planning is important, you may prioritize this during the Collaborative Process. The lawyers will work together with the parties to arrive at a solution which ensures that the farm will be able to continue for generations to come.
Farmers who wish to ensure that they have the best chance to weather the divorce storm should meet with a Collaborative lawyer to determine whether this is an appropriate process for them.
Feel free to contact Stephanie to answer your questions or to set up a consultation.