What to expect from collaborative divorce
Collaborative practice is a form of alternative dispute resolution that helps you to divorce your spouse amicably without litigation.
Collaborative divorce offers many benefits to you, your soon-to-be ex-spouse and your children, if applicable. Understanding the process can help you decide whether it is right for your situation and go into it with confidence if so.
Collaborative divorce goals
According to the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, the goals of collaborative divorce are to create shared solutions that acknowledge both your priorities and those of your spouse and to negotiate a resolution that is mutually acceptable. You accomplish this through complete openness in information sharing and communication between you and your spouse. Ideally, you accomplish all this out of court using the collaborative process.
Collaborative divorce methods
To achieve the goals of a collaborative divorce, you and your spouse must disclose all relevant materials and information to one another and your chosen representatives. You must sign an agreement promising to act in good faith to reach an agreement that is mutually beneficial.
Everyone involved in the collaborative process must commit to resolving the matter out of court. This includes you, your spouse and your respective attorneys. To demonstrate this commitment, everyone must agree in writing that if the collaborative process fails and you end up having to go to court, both you and your spouse will retain new counsel.
Though you and your spouse are primarily responsible for negotiating your own agreement, you may consult with experts, such as family counselors or forensic accountants, during the process. It is helpful if the experts have some experience in collaborative practice.