Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorce is a peaceful, no-court option. Similar to mediation, the focus of collaborative divorce is settlement. However, collaborative law is different: At the very beginning of the process, the couple and their attorneys sign a participation agreement. The participation agreement is the defining characteristic of the collaborative process.

The agreement requires the couple and their attorneys to act cooperatively throughout the process, to openly and honestly disclose all relevant and pertinent information such as asset and debt information, and to not threaten litigation. The agreement also requires that in the event of non-settlement, the attorneys withdraw as counsel. Eliminating the threat of litigation encourages parties to be transparent and work as a team.

Through four-way meetings, the attorneys and their clients work to identify goals, interests, needs and concerns of the parties. Once these are established, the team works to generate specifically tailored solutions that are mutually satisfactory and intended to meet the current and future needs of the parties. Once an agreement on all divorce issues is reached, the attorneys draft the necessary paperwork required by the court to finalize the matter. No court appearance is required of the parties or their attorneys.

In addition to attorneys, the collaborative process can and often does involve other divorce professionals, such as neutral financial specialists, neutral child specialists and divorce coaches. The couple and their particular situation will determine if the use of additional divorce professionals will be of benefit.