What is Collaborative Divorce?

No single way of divorcing is right for every couple ending their marriage. Many today are seeking an alternative to conventional divorce, one that minimizes the time, expense and hostility that are so often a part of divorce.  Collaborative Divorce has been developed to provide individuals with a welcome alternative.

Collaborative Divorce is a process in which both parties and counsel commit themselves to resolve differences fairly, equitably, in a respectful manner without resort or threat of resort to the courts.

In recent years more and more family law attorneys and divorcing couples have been drawn to this process as a cost-efficient and respectful way of reaching agreements that work for both of the parties and their families.

Collaborative divorce is not your typical court-based, high-stress divorce. In fact, it is meant to resolve your divorce in a peaceful and respectful team-based approach:

  • (Time) Restructure relationships faster with less stress;
  • (Money) Preserve finances for both parents and children;
  • (Emotion) Reduce emotional tolls on family;
  • (Results) Customize “win-win” results for both spouses;
  • (Relationships) Preserve family relationships beyond divorce; and
  • (No Court Hearings) Keeping your matters private.

What is the Collaborative Team?

The Collaborative team is a group of professionals, each skilled in their own area of expertise, working for the benefit of you, your spouse and your children.  It is very much like a medical team in which different specialists focus on the care and needs of the patient.

The Collaborative team consists of:

  • A Collaborative lawyer for each spouse
  • Financial Neutral
  • Neutral Facilitator
  • Allied Professionals (as needed)

Whereas conventional divorce often involves exchanging demands and accusations, the Collaborative approach proceeds on the basis of mutual cooperation, respect and option building.  Some characteristics of the Collaborative process include:

  • the team seeks to understand what is important for each client and the family unit;
  • the team offers targeted legal, mental health and financial support;
  • the team brainstorms, avoid judgment, and refrains from positional arguments;
  • the focus is on problem solving and exploring options, facilitating creative outcomes;
  • ultimatums, roadblocks, barriers and negative criticism are prohibited;
  • the common goal is to support and empower the parties to reach settlement.

You and your spouse are integral parts of the team.  Collaborative lawyers view their professional obligations differently from litigation attorneys.  Collaborative attorneys are not adversaries but are partners in the problem-solving process.

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