What is Collaborative Divorce?

Collaborative divorce is a non-adversarial dispute resolution process in which the parties work together, with the assistance of their attorneys and other neutral professionals, to resolve their disputes without going to court. The parties may be (and typically are) adverse to one another, but the process does not put them against each other as adversaries. Instead, the parties, their lawyers, and other neutral professionals work together as a team. The focus of collaborative divorce is on addressing the parties’ goals and interests in a forward-looking manner rather than punishing the parties for past behavior.

In the event the parties are not able to resolve their issues using collaborative divorce, they may opt out of the process and litigate. Either party may opt out of collaborative divorce at any time. By opting out, the collaborative divorce will end, the collaborative lawyers must withdraw, and the parties must hire new litigation lawyers.

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To preserve the confidentiality of collaborative divorce, none of the collaborative professionals (lawyers, communications facilitators, financial professionals, or other neutral professionals) may testify at any subsequent hearing or trial.

Just as the court follows certain laws and rules, collaborative divorce has its own set of rules and procedures. Experience has shown that following these procedures maximizes the likelihood of a positive outcome.