When many people picture the concept of “divorce,” they imagine high-powered lawyers going toe-to-toe in a courtroom and a lot of emotional drama wrapped up in a high-stakes game of financial tug of war. The reality is that divorce does not have to be this dramatic, and, in fact, you will end up saving a lot of time and money if it is not. According to Forbes, collaborative divorce is a way of going through the divorce process that is more cooperative than competitive.

Now, if your divorce is very acrimonious, it may be true that the only way to get through the process is to have lawyers and judges arbitrate through the entire ordeal. However, collaborative divorce is a great option for divorcing spouses who mostly agree on how things should be handled, but just have a few sticking points where lawyers would be helpful. In a collaborative divorce, both parties and their separate lawyers will meet frequently to collaborate on the details surrounding the arrangement.

It is important to know that in order for a collaborative divorce to be successful, both parties have to be willing to compromise. if no compromise in possible, then taking things to trial may be the only way to arbitrate the matter. However, collaborative divorce is a great option for those who want to actually make the final decisions on personal matters such as child support and alimony as opposed to a judge impartially making the decision.

If you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse are able to work together toward common goals (namely, ensuring an equitable divorce and the welfare of the children if applicable), the collaborative method is an affordable, lower-stress way to go through divorce.