The heart of Collaborative Practice (also known as Collaborative Law or Collaborative Divorce) is to offer you and your spouse or partner the support, protection, and guidance of your own lawyers without going to court. Additionally, Collaborative Practice allows you option to include child and financial specialists, communication facilitators and other professionals to your collaborative team, all in an effort to keep the collaborative process moving smoothly and efficiently, and to help focus on and find solutions for the goals and interests that have been identified as being important to each of you.
Divorce is a sensitive personal matter. No single approach is right for everyone. Many couples find that Collaborative Practice a healthy alternative to the often destructive, uncomfortable aspects of an adversarial litigation divorce.
The chart below helps visualize the pros and cons of each method to resolve your divorce:
If the below values are important to you, Collaborative Practice is likely to be a viable and advantageous option for you, when compared to adversarial litigation:
•I want to maintain the tone of respect, even when we disagree.
•I want to prioritize the needs of our children.
•I choose to maintain control of the divorce process with my spouse, and not relegate it to the courts.
•My needs and those of my spouse require equal consideration, and I will listen objectively.
•I believe that working creatively and cooperatively solves issues.
•It is important to reach beyond today's frustration and pain to plan for the future.
•I can behave ethically toward my spouse.
Does this path sound and feel comfortable for you? If so, you should talk to a lawyer, child specialist, mental health counselor, or financial professional specifically trained as Collaborative Practice professionals about your situation to help you make the decision. The members of this association listed as Collaborative Practice professionals on this website have all completed this association’s recommended level of training as collaborative practice professionals, and several members have numerous hours of advanced training.