How long does a collaborative divorce take?

How much time do I have to work out my collaborative divorce?

Boulder divorce attorney Sara Ross has vast experience in collaborative law. She explains that, in a collaborative divorce, the spouses have as much time as they need to work out their differences and reach an agreement.


Sara Ross: “You’ve got as much or as little time as you need to complete the process. When you go through the litigated traditional divorce, you’re really on the court’s clock, and the court is jammed full of cases. The judges are working so hard to try to keep the cases moving and to get folks through the system and not have cases languish for a really long time, so in that effort, they end up really having to make sure people stick to timelines. It’s not uncommon that clients will say to me, ‘Well, I’m not ready to do that. I don’t want to file those discovery requests. I don’t want to have to worry about taking that deposition right now. My kids are just getting out of school or I don’t feel ready. I think that’s going to really upset my spouse. Can’t we take more time?’

When you’re litigating, the answer is no. You have deadlines and you have to meet them. You have to be ready for a trial.

With a collaborative divorce, in the event that you realize, ‘This is just not a good time right now. I need a month to think about this,’ you can take a break, but you have to keep in mind that it may be that you’re ready to proceed and that your spouse needs to take a break. Then, you can only go as fast as the slowest person is able to go.

Divorce is such a delicate process, and there’s so much more involved than facts. There’s so much emotion, and I often think that people’s experience is a lot more painful when they’re rushed. When they have the time to talk to each other and to process what they need to process in the collaborative way, then they end up on the other side of a divorce without as deep of wounds as they may have in the litigated process.”