What is Collaborative Divorce?

Collaborative Divorce is a non-adversarial process, conducted outside of the court system, in which each party, who has his/her own collaboratively trained attorney, is guided in interest-based negotiations, to reach a fair and equitable agreement.

This process begins when each party retains a collaborative attorney and signs a written commitment to this process; that they will not to go to court, but they commit to resolving their family matter(s) outside of the court in planned meetings with collaborative professionals, where the parties are empowered to make informed choices after having all essential information and reviewing all potential reasonable options for resolution.

Conflict Resolution agreement

There are four basic steps in the collaborative process that are guided by professionals trained, experienced and skilled in the collaborative process:

  • The voluntary exchange of all relevant information
  • Identification of each party’s interests and goals (including child-related)
  • Consideration of all viable and available options (yes, brain-storming and generating ideas, even “outside of the box” ideas)
  • Assessment of options, to reach full agreement

The process ends when the parties have made their own decisions and reach a full agreement. The written agreement and related court-required filings are prepared and filed (often e-filed) with the court. A hearing is held, which may be a private hearing with a private judge, and a final court decree is signed and filed.

Should You be Interested In Collaborative Divorce? Yes, if you want to:

  • put your children first
  • protect your children from the effects of a high conflict, contested divorce
  • obtain the best parenting plan for you and your children
  • obtain the best overall resolution for you and your family
  • have a win-win solution and avoid a win-lose outcome
  • tailor the outcome of your case to your family circumstances and needs
  • keep your finances and other personal information as private as possible
  • spend less money and time than you would were you in a contested divorce
  • be fair and want your spouse to know you are going to be fair
  • control the outcome of the case, rather than having a court make decisions
  • focus on the future, rather than the past; focus on the positives and not negatives
  • use your financial, emotional, and time resources in the most positive way
  • benefit from the training, skill and experience of collaborative professionals who are dedicated to this process and know how to work with and for you, and who know how to work appropriately with each other for your benefit, to make this process successful for you and your family
  • have difficult conversations in emotionally safe planned joint meetings where communications are respectful and each party is heard and respected.
  • not spend your time, money and emotions preparing for trial and going to court