Collaborative Divorce Outline

A new non-adversarial divorce process is sweeping the country. This new paradigm is known as collaborative divorce. Collaborative divorce is a process involving family law attorneys, mental health professionals and financial specialists, all working together cooperatively to bring about a solution that is fair, just, and equitable for all family members.

Collaborative divorce is an out-of-court process that assists husbands and wives to dissolve their marriage in a compassionate, practical, and informed way, while proceeding at their own pace – not based on a court schedule.

Collaborative divorce is a process that supports the entire family and provides for a smooth transition for all family members.

The collaborative divorce method puts together a professional team for each couple who agree to use the process. Just as in the traditional adversarial process, both husband and wife choose an attorney to represent them. Joining the team are two or three mental health professionals, one of whom is retained by each spouse as their coach, and one who is hired as the child specialist – serving as the voice of the children. Rounding off the team (if needed) is a financial specialist. All of these professionals have received specialized training (including yearly continuing education and training) in the collaborative divorce process.

In the traditional adversarial method, many parents use the process as a therapeutic tool to heal or sooth their pain, to justify their actions, or to seek vindication for the perceived “wrongs” of the other parent, all of which become powerful emotional weapons to be used to “win at all costs.” And cost it does, a lot, both emotionally and financially.

In the collaborative process, instead of paying their attorneys to conduct research, discovery, and trial preparation to “battle” the other spouse and their attorney in court, the parties spend their money on resolving the issues constructively and fairly with the cooperative assistance of their attorneys and other team members. The team is not only committed to keep the parties out of court, they are also there to help the parties transition their relationship into two households in a peaceful, intelligent, and restorative manner. Therefore, rather than spending the parties’ resources in numerous court appearances, which have the potential to embitter spouses to exaggerate and exacerbate their differences, the collaborative approach is much less expensive and much less stressful.

The inclusion of the educational and informational team approach promotes positive healing for all family members. It provides the parties with the opportunity to make intelligent, informed, and creative decisions regarding their children, their property, and their finances – issues affecting the future of all family members. Collaborative divorce is a process where power and control is maintained by the family. It takes into consideration the uniqueness of each family member. It puts the parties directly in charge of their own affairs.