What is Collaborative Divorce?
Collaborative Divorce is a respectful process focused on reaching an agreement, not battling an adversary in the court system. The goal of a collaborative divorce is centered on finding resolutions that take into account the things that are important to each of you, thinking creatively to find durable solutions that work best for everyone. The collaborative process centers on the foundation that the best decisions will always be fulling informed. Your team of experts will assist you and your partner to clarify your interests, refine your priorities and focus solely on helping reach an agreement.
Why use Collaborative Divorce?
There are many benefits to Collaborative Divorce. The parties are able to preserve their dignity and privacy because decision making is between you and your partner. By avoiding the court process, the monetary and time costs to all parties are significantly lower. Also, the meetings between the parties are focused on problem-solving and finding respectful solutions in an environment much less divisive than the court environment, often reducing the stress and anxiety felt by all participants. Information is shared in a voluntary, free and open exchange. No parties are attempting to hide relevant information, which helps move parties forward in a cooperative way.
How Does Collaborative Divorce Work?
- Both parties meet with the team members of our organization. A “no court” agreement is signed which establishes that should the couple decide to proceed to court for their dissolution, the entirety of the collaborative divorce process will not be admissible nor can any of the members of our team represent or testify for either party.
- Each individual meets with team members to have an opportunity to express their own interests and needs
- If children are involved, a therapist will meet with them
- Team members and the couple meet again to begin discussing potential resolutions and establish the areas of agreement and the areas of negotiation
- Regular meetings occur with our team to complete a resolution which is agreeable to all parties
- An agreement of dissolution and a property settlement agreement are drafted, signed, and filed
What If It Doesn’t Work?
If the collaborative process does not work for a couple, they are free to terminate the services. No conversations, documents, or work product from the collaborative process is admissible in the court proceedings. As well, our team members cannot represent or testify on behalf of either party. All parties can be confident to share as much information as they want in the collaborative process, without the concern that something shared will be detrimental to a potential court case should the collaborative process not succeed as planned.