Collaborative divorce is an exciting new client-centered approach to negotiating your divorce out of court. Instead of using a judge to decide your differences, you and your attorneys agree to stay out of court. Instead, you have a series of team meetings to discuss and resolve your disputes. In many instances, parties in collaborative divorce use a neutral facilitator and jointly hire financial, mental health or other neutral advisors to assist in the negotiations.
How Does Collaborative Divorce Work?
There are three principals to collaborative divorce:
- A pledge not to go to court.
- An honest exchange of information by both spouses.
- A solution that takes into account the highest priorities of both spouses and, when applicable, their children.
In a collaborative divorce, you and your spouse are each represented by a specially trained attorney who acts as your individual advisor. Your attorney helps you understand all the legal and financial issues and supports you in the negotiations. Collaborative attorneys are trained in the techniques of collaborative law and problem solving. We are committed to an open and informal exchange of financial and other information as well as a respectful and non-confrontational style of negotiation. In a collaborative divorce my focus is on dispute resolution rather than conflict escalation.
In addition to the attorneys, most collaborative divorce negotiations also include a neutral facilitator whose job it is to keep the tone of the meetings respectful and to make sure that both parties are given an equal chance to speak and express their concerns. The facilitator will check in with you before and after the team meetings to make sure that you are feeling supported and prepared.
Is Collaborative Divorce The Right Choice For Me?
If you want to settle your divorce out of court, you should definitely consider collaborative divorce. Most collaborative divorce clients like the idea of mediation but feel the need for more support during the negotiations. Often, they have a complex financial situation which benefit from the advice and experience of attorneys and also from the assistance of other professionals, such as financial planners. Sometimes it is the personal dynamics of the family that are complex and the collaborative team turns to the assistance of medical experts, therapists, educational experts, etc.
Like mediation, both you and your spouse will need to decide to pursue a collaborative divorce. It is critical to make this decision early because once a divorce enters into litigation it is unlikely to end up in a collaborative divorce.
I have written many articles related to collaborative divorce that discuss collaborative divorce and the process in more detail. I invite you to spend some time reading these articles.
If you feel your case could be a candidate for collaborative divorce, please contact me at 978-356-2934 extension 12.