What is Collaborative Divorce?

  • Each party must have a Collaboratively trained attorney
  • Once an attorney has committed to act as a party's collaborative attorney, he/she may never participate in any contested litigation with these parties
  • Each party's attorney will give his/her candid advise, opinions and experience in front of the other attorney and the other party; there is never any strategizing
  • The parties sign a Collaborative Participation Agreement in which the parties agree to:
    • Not go to court
    • Voluntarily and without having to be asked, provide any and all relevant information
    • Use good faith in their negotiations to reach a mutually acceptable agreement
    • Use the professionals and resources available to ensure their children are kept out of the middle and that their children's needs are respected and addressed
    • Engage in the Collaborative Process and follow the tenets of the process in good faith
    • Engage the Mental Health Professionals/Coaches, Financial Specialists, and Child Specialists to assist in the process as their case requires

the collaborative team, which includes the clients, their collaboratively trained attorneys, and as needed, coaches (mental health professionals), child specialists (mental health professionals), and financial specialists work together, as a team, to create the best possible acceptable agreement for the parties.

Collaboratively Trained Team Members

Attorneys, mental health professionals, and financial specialists must be trained in the Collaborative process.

Mental Health Professionals:

  • Assist as communication coaches
  • Help parties to listen to understand
  • Help parties to speak to be heard
  • Help parties and professionals to manage triggers
    (things that cause reactions which do not facilitate reaching an agreement)

Child Specialists:

  • Can be the voice of the parties' children in the process
  • Help parents tell their children about the divorce
  • Help parents understand how children go through divorce
  • Help parents to understand developmental stages

Financial Specialists:

  • Help gather the financial information
  • Help with budgets
  • Help with tax issues
  • Help parties gain realistic understanding of their financial situation