What are the key elements of Collaborative Practice?

Collaborative Process (which encompasses the terms Collaborative Law, Collaborative Practice and Collaborative Divorce) has four key elements:

  • A voluntary, free and open exchange of information. The best decisions will always be fully informed. Collaborative Process is about disclosing all relevant information necessary to make good decisions, not hiding it.
  • A genuine commitment and pledge not to go to court. You, your spouse and the professionals make a written commitment to strive only for settlement. For the professionals, that means if someone decides to exit the process and start litigation they cannot continue acting for you. This helps to ensure that the professionals’ motivations align with yours. They have no incentive to make things contentious or worse - in fact, doing so could lead to failure of the process and their termination. Also, no need to fear the other spouse’s lawyer ever taking you on in court - they literally cannot. This means the focus during the Collaborative Process is solely on helping you reach an agreement.
  • A balanced commitment to respect both parties' shared goals and the needs of the whole family. Collaborative Process is centered on finding resolutions that take into account the things that are important to each of you. Throughout the process, collaborative professionals will assist you and your spouse to clarify your interests, refine your priorities and think creatively to find durable solutions that work for both of you.
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