Collaborative Divorce Is An Alternative to Mediation With More Professional Support and Structure
What Is a Collaborative Divorce?
In a Collaborative Divorce, the resolution is determined by you and your spouse, who are supported by a team of legal, financial, and mental health professionals. It is similar, but more structured and with additional professional support than found in Collaborative Mediation.
- Each spouse hires an independent attorney who is specifically aligned with their own needs. The attorneys are specifically trained in Collaborative Divorce and Mediation. (Peace Talks can refer upon request)
- Each spouse hires an independent therapist-coach. The coach helps you get through the tough times as well as facilitating communication.
- Peace talks’ neutral accountant or financial professional works with everyone to make sure the financial information is thorough, clear, and that the agreement is fair
- Peace talks’ neutral parenting and child expert works with everyone to craft a parenting plan that works for the family
- Peace talks’ Collaborative case manager works with the team to keep the case structured and on track
In a Collaborative Divorce, everyone agrees that you won’t go to court; and that you’ll resolve all of the settlement topics using the attorneys, coaches, and neutral experts.
What Happens If the Collaboration Breaks Down?
At the beginning of a Collaborative Divorce, the couple signs a Disqualification Agreement (also called a Participation Agreement). This means if the process breaks down and has to go to trial, both of the attorneys involved must withdraw and neither may represent you or your spouse in court.
This agreement reinforces the commitment to collaboration. It also ensures that the attorneys involved are motivated to reach settlement outside of the courtroom.
The team resigns if you go to a third-party decision-maker, whether a judge or arbitrator.
Advantages of Collaborative Divorce
- You and your spouse have control as you develop options for your family.
- Interdisciplinary teams enhance the likelihood of reaching your highest goals for your family and for yourself.
- Team expertise allows efficient task allocation to the team member with specialized skills.
- The collaborative process promotes customized, interest-based agreements
- The financial specialist prepares the financial disclosure and financial reports for both of you, avoiding significant duplication and expense.
Disadvantages of Collaborative Divorce
- Upfront costs may seem high as you retain professionals at the start of the process.
- Scheduling meetings with multiple participants may be challenging.
- No one can compel decisions, commitments, or deadlines.
For more information about Collaborative Divorce Practice and how Peace Talks mediators can help you, schedule an orientation.