Collaborative divorce is a way for people to resolve their disputes in an open and respectful manner, by reaching a mutually acceptable settlement. In the process, the parties retain Collaborative professionals including attorneys, accountants and therapists, who agree to work cooperatively to gather and share all of the information needed to reach an agreement.
The heart of the process involves four-way meetings with the couple and their attorneys, who are specially trained in the principles of Collaborative practice. The meetings are structured to encourage the exchange of interests, ideas, and various settlement options. Clients are invited to consider how they want to resolve the issues and how they might best create positive solutions.
Although each case is different, the Collaborative team usually includes attorneys, a financial professional and a divorce coach. It is possible to have additional professionals, including a child specialist depending on the needs of each case.
The parties and their Collaborative attorneys agree that they will not go to court and ask a judge to resolve their dispute for them during the Collaborative process. If the parties are unable to reach an agreement, and one of the parties decides to go to court, the Collaborative professionals withdraw. Litigation attorneys are then retained to represent the parties in court.