Benefits of Collaborative Divorce

  • Allows the parties to have control over their future.
  • Allows the parties to receive support from multiple professionals who are knowledgeable in their fields.
  • Promotes option building.
  • Is a simpler process and, ultimately less expensive than the traditional litigation process.
  • Is an honest process that promotes the free-flow of information between the parties and professionals.
  • Is a less stressful and less time-consuming process than the traditional litigation process.
Collaborative Divorce-image

Collaborative Divorce

The Collaborative Divorce Process is a legal process for divorce which allows the parties to take control of what the ending of their marriage will look like. The purpose of the Collaborative Process is to write this ending in a peaceful, non-adversarial manner. The Collaborative Process itself allows the parties to reach a solution which best meets the needs of each party while avoiding the litigation process, which is more stressful, timely, and expensive in the long run.

In the Collaborative Process, each spouse will be represented by a lawyer who has been Collaboratively trained. Most Collaborative Divorces also involve the use of other Collaboratively trained professionals, such as a mental health professional and financial professional. The additional professionals are neutral. The purpose of these additional professionals varies. Typically, a mental health professional is there to assist in facilitation of discussions at full-team meetings and to assist the parties in the process and in determining what is best for them or their family, especially when children are involved. The financial neutral is typically the individual responsible for gathering all the parties’ financial information and statements and providing the information to the full-team in a streamlined and cohesive manner, along with helping the parties and their lawyers option-build.

Once the parties choose to utilize the Collaborative Divorce Process and a team is chosen, all participants will be required to execute a Participation Agreement. This Agreement is what separates the Collaborative Divorce Process from the traditional litigation process. Two of the largest components of the Agreement are the parties’ agreement to be open and honest with the entire team and the professionals’ agreement to be disqualified from litigation representation, in the limited event that the Collaborative Process is no longer working for the parties. These two hallmarks of the Participation Agreement give the parties freedom to speak openly and honestly about their concerns and desires which allows the parties the chance to amicably resolve issues, instead of constantly being worried about posturing, and gives them the assurance that those discussions can’t be used by their spouse’s lawyer against them should litigation occur.

After the process begins, full-team meetings and meetings between the parties and the neutral professionals are scheduled. Unlike typical litigation, the Collaborative Process is driven by the parties. In typical litigation, the parties are forced to follow rules of procedure that dictate when and where things will occur. In the Collaborative Process, the parties are free to move as fast or slow as they feel comfortable. However, many Collaborative cases resolve within six to nine months and approximately 85% of them resolve with a full agreement. In a litigation matter, a divorce may not resolve for a year or more, depending on the issues and the cooperation of the parties and lawyers involved.

Once the Collaborative Divorce Settlement Agreement is signed, the process is finalized by filing it with the Court, along with any other required documents, and obtaining a Judgment.

If you want to avoid costly litigation and work collaboratively through your divorce with your spouse and the assistance of a trained attorney, collaborative divorce is your best option.