A collaborative divorce avoids the costs and conflict of divorce litigation by utilizing the collaborative law process, a method of conflict resolution that removes the couple from the courtroom and allows them to resolve their issues peacefully, with dignity and cooperation, while incorporating the advice and counsel of collaboratively trained professionals.
When a couple chooses to pursue collaborative divorce by means of the collaborative law process, they must agree to forgo divorce litigation. Typically, each will first hire an attorney trained in the collaborative law. The collaborative divorce attorneys and the couple will agree, in writing, to keep the dispute out of court. After choosing their collaborative law attorneys, the parties may choose to work with other collaboratively trained professionals, commonly referred to as team members. These team members can include a financial neutral, a child specialist, and a divorce coach. Collaboratively trained professionals can be hired by either party or shared, depending on the needs and circumstances of each family. After the parties reach a final agreement in their collaborative divorce, their agreement is incorporated into a judgment for dissolution of marriage. The divorce is final when the judge enters a judgment for dissolution of marriage as an order of the court.
Collaborative law is based on the concept that the parties share the common goal of completing the divorce process quickly, amicably, and economically. Because of its open and communicative nature, the collaborative law process fosters creative solutions to family issues. By fostering a cooperative environment and placing great emphasis on the children’s needs, a collaborative divorce helps to protect the interests of everyone in the divorce process, not just the parents.
Collaborative divorce also presents the parties with the potential to drastically reduce the costs associated with dissolution of marriage proceedings. By reducing the number of court appearances and filings, parties committed to the collaborative law process typically spend less to reach a desirable agreement. Additionally, a collaborative divorce typically takes less time to complete than a litigated divorce.