Collaborative Divorce provides an alternative path to traditional litigation for families contemplating divorce. The essence of the Collaborative Divorce process is the shared belief by the parties that it is in their family’s best interest to avoid litigation. Attorneys represent their clients by using an interest based problem solving model of negotiation.
In addition to collaboratively trained attorneys, the Collaborative Divorce Process includes a team of collaboratively trained professionals, including a mental health professional trained as a divorce coach to help address the emotional issues of the parties surrounding the divorce, a child specialist and a financial expert. The Collaborative Divorce team addressed the legal, financial and emotional needs of the parties in order to facilitate an atmosphere of honesty and cooperation. The process includes face to face meetings with the entire team utilizing problem solving techniques to address the issues of both spouses and their children. This approach maximizes opportunities for reaching a settlement that optimize the families’ interest and prioritize the needs of the children.
Unlike court-imposed resolutions, agreements reached through the Collaborative Divorce Process are structured through the thoughtful and honest participation of the parties and are uniquely tailored to the needs of their children and families. Because both parties are deeply invested in the process, both spouses are more likely to adhere to an agreement reached through the Collaborative Process then through court-imposed resolutions.
The Collaborative Process requires both parties to sign a Participation Agreement committing to: (i) forego litigation; (ii) make full and timely disclosure of all financial information and any other relevant information without a formal discovery process: (iii) protect the privacy, respect and dignity of all participants, including the parties, attorneys and experts; and (iv) to prioritize their children’s needs.
The Collaborative Process encompasses a team of specially trained professionals dedicated to providing families the tools needed to reach settlement built on mutual interest and cooperation. This process fosters communication with honesty and respect, using problem solving techniques in order to seek carefully tailored solutions to complex problems. The parties are in control of the process, timeline and ultimate settlement and by avoiding court reduce the stress and animosity associated with litigation.