Collaborative Divorce is a non-adversarial approach. Both parties must agree to negotiate in good faith, and work together to reach a mutual agreement without going to court. The focus should be the well-being of both parties and their children.
The key elements of the Collaborative Divorce Process are:
• Reaching a settlement without going to court.
• Open communication
• Sharing of information with each other
• Acknowledging each other’s needs.
How does Collaborative Divorce differ from the more traditional adversarial approach?
1. Full disclosure – All information and financial data is revealed and shared with both parties.
2. Respect – Both parties strive to maintain a level of respect for the process, the professionals, and their respective spouse – even when they may disagree.
3. Protecting your children – Both parties agree that the needs of the children come first.
4. Sharing professionals – The “team” of professionals work with both parties to resolve their disputes without going to court. The team typically consists of a Collaborative lawyer for each party, one neutral financial professional, divorce coaches and a child specialist.
5. Focus on “win-win” solutions – All negotiations aim to help both parties reach fair decisions for themselves and their children.
6. Stay out of court – Collaborative Divorce is structured to assist a couple so that they can work “cooperatively”, maintain control of the process and make their own decisions.
I’ve served as the neutral financial specialist on many Collaborative Divorce cases over the past 9 years and have seen how both parties’ have benefitted. With the right team of professionals in place and both parties working to uphold the collaborative principals, the settlement can be focused on the NEEDS of both parties and the cost can be substantially less than the other more litigious approaches.