Collaborative Divorce practice is a new way for a divorcing couple to work as a team with trained professionals to resolve disputes respectfully and obtain a divorce without going to court. The cost of litigation of a divorce is enormous. I always advise clients to settle all divorce issues, and I advise them not to litigate in court because of the high cost and lack of civility.
Collaborative Divorce practice is a client-centered and client controlled process that begins with an assessment of the individual needs of each client. In response to client needs, the Collaborative Divorce practitioners selected by the clients provide them with professional services using an integrated approach. This approach creates a supportive, problem solving environment, where the clients can negotiate their own agreements face to face, assisted by their Collaborative practitioners.
Collaborative Divorce practice strives to provide clients with the support, information and structure they need to reach agreements that are voluntary and of maximum mutual benefit to all. To achieve this goal, collaboration begins with and emphasizes education prior to negotiation, explores common goals in place of divisive positions, and creates a safe environment for constructive conversation.
The Collaborative Participation Agreement the clients and professionals sign at the start of collaboration mandates that any Collaborative practitioner in the case must withdraw from representing or assisting either client, if either client engages in any form of litigation about the dispute. This requirement mitigates the negative impact of the power-based procedures inherent in the adversarial court model. At the same time, it encourages continuing efforts to find creative solutions in the face of apparent negotiation impasse.
Constructive decisions are made about child custody and support, distribution of property, spousal support and child visitation.
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