Cooperative Divorce

What Is Cooperative Divorce?

Cooperative divorce is a divorce process in which both parties enter the process with the reasoned expectation of settlement. Unlike collaborative divorce, in the event that settlement based negotiations break down, court intervention is still allowed in cooperative divorces with each party continuing to have the ability of retaining their counsel.

How Does Collaborative Divorce Compare with Cooperative Divorce?

Unlike collaborative divorce which dictates that the only time you go to court is at the end of a Stipulated Divorce hearing, cooperative divorce does not preclude judicial intervention at any point in the divorce process. Because judicial intervention is allowed, settlement is not required, it is only anticipated. In collaborative divorce, the parties risk losing their counsel should the parties be unable to settle. In cooperative divorce parties are not required to obtain new counsel or in the alternative proceed "pro se" in the event that a settlement is unobtainable.

Much like collaborative divorce, cooperative divorce fosters a framework of efficiency and cooperation. Parties are urged to agree on experts thus limiting necessary expenditures and are part of a process that fosters the free exchange of information and avoids unnecessary formality whenever possible.

Does a Cooperative Divorce Cost Less Than a Traditional Divorce?

While I am unfamiliar with any study which would quantitatively compare the costs of the two, my personal experience leads me to believe that cooperative divorce, on average costs less than a traditional divorce because in large part counsel are not required to resort to formal discovery or needless, unnecessary repetitive letters. In a cooperative divorce, a lawyer simply asks for the information that is necessary and it is provided. By removing much of the formality of the process, the process becomes more efficient and with efficiency historically comes a reduction in cost.

Schmidlkofer, Toth, Loeb & Drosen, LLC
949 Glenview Ave.
Wauwatosa, WI, 53213
Phone: 414-259-9300
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We represent people throughout southeast Wisconsin, including Milwaukee, Waukesha, Brookfield, New Berlin, Pewaukee, Delafield, Menomonee Falls, Germantown, West Allis and Wauwatosa; and in Milwaukee County, Waukesha County, Washington County and Ozaukee County.