How It Works
The parties review the important issues of this particular divorce, and each spouse signs a Collaborative Participation Agreement agreeing to adhere to the Collaborative Process. Lawyers sign it, too, along with any other professional involved in the process.
This sets parameters for a team-oriented approach to divorce, with lawyers, mental health professionals, financial planners, and other experts who are also collaboratively-trained.
In Collaborative Divorce, there is an understanding that if the process goes off the rails, the team disbands, and none of the professionals can continue to support this couple in their court-based divorce.
While some divorce cases can evolve into battlegrounds, where each spouse wants to emerge victorious with the most parenting time, the most money and the most property, Collaborative Divorce does not promote the idea of winners and losers.
Rather, a shared desire to maintain cooperation drives this approach. Plus, all parties agree to promote dignity and exhibit respect while working together to develop outcomes each spouse can live with.
If you can imagine a “win-win” situation in a divorce, this is it!
Collaborative agreements require full disclosure of information and financials. Lawyers expect both spouses to be involved in the process with an open mind. Plus, there should be no behind-the-scenes hiding of assets or other rogue tactics that can complicate a divorce and diminish trust.
Part of the process includes establishing understanding that the co-parenting schedule post-divorce might ebb and flow. When you begin the divorce process with respect, you can continue to co-parent respectfully after it’s done!