What is it?
Collaborative Divorce is a decision-making process where the parties work together with their Collaborative Divorce lawyers to find creative solutions to their divorce issues. The parties and their lawyers commit to avoiding court and to a transparent process where all relevant information is disclosed.
Who is it for?
Collaborative Divorce works best for individuals who wish to avoid having a Judge impose a decision, who wish to focus on the future (instead of focusing on past issues), and who wish to reduce conflict while also having a lawyer by their side to legal provide advice and information.
How does the process work?
Each party must retain a lawyer with specific Collaborative Divorce training. It is the role of the lawyers to keep discussions focused on the topics and concerns identified by the parties themselves. Collaborative Divorce lawyers are trained in interest-based negotiations, which means they will explore why the parties want certain outcomes. By focusing on the "why", the parties can often achieve a mutually-satisfactory resolution based on what’s important to them and what’s in the entire family’s best interests. The lawyers provide legal advice throughout the collaborative process so that decisions are not made blindly. Before the Collaborative Divorce process can begin, the parties and their lawyers must sign a Participation Agreement which commits all parties to the Process and to avoiding court. Thereafter, the parties engage in four-way meetings and identify each party’s interests (concerns, hopes, expectations, priorities, fears, values, etc.), and create a list of issues and priorities for resolution.
At subsequent meetings, we address each issue identified for resolution in the order agreed by the parties. Information is exchanged, solutions are brainstormed, and if resolution is reached, the lawyers will prepare a legally-binding separation agreement or divorce pleadings .