Collaborative Law
A dignified, out-of-court alternative based on mutual respect
Going through a divorce does not automatically mean having to endure the turmoil that is often
associated with it. You now have another choice, Collaborative Law/Divorce. Developed as an
alternative to the stereotypical divorce scenario, Collaborative Law/Divorce is a new option for
divorcing couples to resolve disputes respectfully without going to court. It offers couples a
peaceful, solution-based approach to ending a relationship.

It differs from the traditional process because Collaborative Law/Divorce promotes respect and
gives control of the process to the spouses, not a judge. Clients agree not to go to court, so the
process is more open and less adversarial. The goal is to enhance communication throughout the
process and to lay the foundation for a healthier relationship during and after the divorce.
Through Collaborative Law/Divorce, relationships are preserved rather than destroyed.

Collaborative Law is based upon three principles:
  • The parties pledge in writing not to go to court.
  • Both spouses engage in an honest and full exchange of information.
  • Each solution takes into account the highest priorities of both spouses and their children.

How Collaborative Law/Divorce Works
Once the collaborative approach has been chosen by the divorcing couple, parents or parties,
each p
arty selects lawyers experienced in Collaborative Law/Divorce to assist them throughout
the process. Also chosen are mental health, financial and child experts to provide nurturing and
educational assistance. All parties sign an agreement not to go to court. However, Collaborative
Law/Divorce is unique in that the p
arties and their collaborative professionals meet together for
face-to-face discussions and negotiations—outside the courtroom. In an atmosphere of openness
and honesty, all assets and liabilities are disclosed, needs are communicated, and solutions are
explored. When children are involved, their interests are given foremost priority.

The end result of Collaborative Law/Divorce is a
n agreement that has been achieved through
mutual problem solving. The p
arties, along with their collaborative professionals, take control of
shaping the final agreement rather than having a resolution imposed upon them by the court.

Benefits of Collaborative Law/Divorce
Designed as an alternative to conventional divorce, Collaborative Law/Divorce offers many
distinct advantages:
  • Kids count. Children are given a voice in the process through a child specialist,
    alleviating potential trauma that sometimes lasts for generations.
  • Client remains in control. Decision-making is directly in the hands of the parties
    involved in the divorce proceeding rather than the hands of a judge. This means that the
    clients are not bound by a “one size fits all” resolution.
  • Parties enjoy confidentiality. Problems and assets are kept private and not a part of
    the public record.
  • Solutions are mutually beneficial. The collaborative process recognizes and
    understands each client's needs, interests, concerns and goals, while allowing both parties
    to be heard throughout the process.
  • Respect is key. Collaboration changes the notion of divorce from adversarial and
    win/lose to a problem-solving constructive experience in which everyone is involved in a
    positive, win-win situation.
  • Couples can expedite the process. The time of the divorce process can be reduced if
    couples adhere to the principles and guidelines of Collaborative Family Law/Divorce.

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