A “Collaborative Divorce” is a process whereby the parties agree to work together with their respective attorneys and often one or more other professionals to try to reach agreement on all of the issues that have to be decided based on the fact that the parties are going to end their marriage. The parties will sign a formal written contract agreeing to proceed in this manner. In this Process, the Wife and Husband both agree to voluntarily provide all relevant information and documentation, both financial and otherwise. They also agree to try and avoid being confrontational with each other and positional in discussions regarding the manner of resolving the various issues that have to be resolved. Assuming the Process is successful, the end result will be that the parties will sign one or more written Agreements setting forth the manner in which they have agreed to settle all of the issues that are incident to the ending of their marriage. Those written Agreements will then be filed with the Court, along with a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage pursuant to which the spouses will request that the Court end their marriage in accordance with the terms set forth in their written Agreements.
It is my opinion that this Process of resolving the issues incident to the ending of the marriage is the Process most likely to cause the least amount of additional damage to the relationship between the spouses. For most people, this is a very important consideration, particularly if they have minor, or even adult, children. Even though the husband and wife will no longer be married, they will continue to be mother and father to their children. The process of ending a marriage can cause irreparable damage to the relationship between the spouses which will, as a matter of reality, also be hurtful and damaging to their children.