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Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative Divorce
Collaborative Divorce is the first system specifically designed to address the needs of families in transition. It is an out of court process where each party has the support and guidance of his or her own attorney. A team approach is used to help a couple make fully-informed and carefully considered settlement decisions. When appropriate, a Child Specialist may become part of the team to address developmental needs of children and to present options for parenting plans.

A neutral financial expert may be used to value the worth of a business, present options for dividing assets or retirement funds and explore options for ensuring financial security for both parties. Divorce coaches are often used to assist with communication and the feelings that often arise during divorce such as fear, anger and guilt, which may create blocks to meaningful settlement.
How does the collaborative process work?
  • You and your spouse each choose individual collaborative lawyers and sign a collaborative representation agreement.
  • Coaches, a Financial professional and a Child Specialist are brought on to the team if they are needed.
  • The parties exchange financial and other information, and participate in negotiations and meetings designed to work out resolutions to all the issues that face a divorcing couple.
  • No motions are filed in court, no subpoenas issued or depositions taken and all financial information is produced voluntarily.
  • Ultimately, all agreements are reduced to writing and submitted to the court. The parties never need to appear in court.
How does a Collaborative Divorce differ from a traditional divorce?

A Collaborative Divorce differs from a traditional divorce in several respects:

  • A Collaborative Divorce can usually be completed in a few months. A traditional divorce takes between six and eighteen months to complete, sometimes longer.
  • A Collaborative Divorce may cost less than a traditional divorce.
  • The parties in a Collaborative Divorce case use joint accountants, mental health consultants, appraisers, and other consultants, instead of hiring their own separately retained experts.
  • At the end of a Collaborative Divorce the spouses are more likely to retain goodwill and respect for one another.
  • The feelings and desires of the children are considered throughout the entire process.
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