Collaborative Practice

How can I look to the future when it seems so bleak?

Separation and divorce are both an ending and a beginning. Collaborative Process helps you consider your future needs and goals while keeping your children a top priority. As a more respectful, dignified process, Collaborative Process supports your family’s goals for a smoother transition to the next stage of your lives.


How is Collaborative Process different from mediation?

In mediation, a neutral third party helps you and your spouse (with or without lawyers present) to negotiate your settlement. The mediator cannot give legal advice or support one person and not the other. Many people find that they need the support and encouragement of having a professional in their corner. If you were to take lawyers to mediation, you are paying for three professionals. If you go to mediation on your own, you may feel confused and anxious. Collaborative Process addresses both of these problems.

How long will my Collaborative Process take?

There really is no “average divorce”! The complexity of your situation and the amount and intensity of the conflict between the spouses will determine the length of your Collaborative Process. However, Collaborative Process can often be more direct and efficient. By focusing on problem-solving instead of blame and grievances, there is real opportunity to strive for respectful results. Full disclosure and open communication assures that you cover all the issues in a timely manner.

How is Collaborative Process different from using the courts?

If you go to court to reach a decision about your family law matter, you may come to view your former partner as an adversary. Your divorce can become a battleground. The resulting conflict can have far-reaching consequences not just for you, but your children. The financial cost is often outweighed by the emotional and psychological cost.


How will this help my children?

It is conflict that harms children - not separation or divorce. Collaborative Process offers a way for you to reach agreement about your finances and children that avoids creating conflict. It also fosters open communication (sometimes with a lot of help) so little things that pop up during the separation don’t needlessly create conflict. If you want to divorce in a way that will enable you to remain co-parents and have a co-operative parenting relationship, Collaborative Practice is one of the best processes to achieve that.

What if I don’t get along with my spouse?

Strong feelings about the relationship and dysfunctional communication are normal post-separation. Those big emotions don’t change the fact that each of you has a common goal of resolving the issues without a costly, destructive court battle. Collaborative Process helps you stay focused and communicating effectively so you and your partner can work successfully to resolve your outstanding issues.


Who is on a Collaborative Team?

A Collaborative team is the combination of professionals that you choose to work with to resolve your dispute. It can be you and your Collaborative lawyers, or you may want to include other professionals on the team. You and your partner can choose to include other professionals such as neutral financial professionals, coaches, communication and family professionals, child specialists or others whom have had specialist training in Collaborative Process. Your Collaborative team will guide and support you as problem-solvers, not as adversaries.

My partner and I are getting a divorce. How does the Collaborative Process work?

When you decide on Collaborative Process, each of you hires a lawyer who has had specialist training in Collaborative Process. Everyone agrees in writing not to go to court. You will meet privately and in face-to-face talks with your Collaborative professional team, which may also include coaches, financial professionals and/or child specialists. All meetings are intended to produce an honest exchange of information and clear understanding about needs and expectations, especially concerning the well-being of children. Mutual problem-solving by all parties leads to the final agreement.