Is Collaborative Practice Right for You?
What is collaborative practice?
Collaborative Practice is a new option for divorcing couples to resolve disputes respectfully and equitably without going to court.
The goal of collaborative practice is to help divorcing and separating couples focus on their most important goals, especially children, throughout the divorce process. The end result is a more efficient, targeted and productive way to resolve disputes
What distinguishes collaborative practice from other methods of divorce?
Collaborative Practice promotes respect and keeps spouses, not judges, in control of the process.
As opposed to litigation that is driven by the general rule of law meant to apply to all, it addresses each couple’s unique concerns.
Because clients agree not to go to court, the process is more open and less adversarial. The goal is to enhance communication throughout the process and lay the foundation for a healthier relationship after the divorce.
What are the biggest differences between collaborative practice and litigation?
- In the collaborative process, you and your spouse agree not to go to court. This gives you and your spouse control of the process and outcome versus litigation, where a judge makes the final decision.
- Instead of the win-lose court setting, the entire collaborative team ensures that both spouses work with each other, not against each other, towards mutually beneficial solutions for critical issues.
- One barrier in litigation is a lack of effective communication between spouses. In the collaborative process, spouses learn a framework for effectively communicating their concerns and goals.
What is the biggest difference between collaborative practice and mediation?
- Both you and your spouse are represented by your attorney throughout the entire process.
- The entire collaborative law team is there to help facilitate communication between the spouses, working towards the best possible solution for all and making sure all issues are addressed.
How does it work?
- Utilizes specialists who leverage their areas of expertise to address children’s needs and the emotional and financial aspects of divorce
- Creates a safe environment for both parties without the threat of court
- Provides a structure for communication that considers each person’s needs
- Shares information that allows good decisions to be made
- Focuses on a creative and respectful approach that helps clients reach a mutually agreeable settlement.
Who is Collaborative Practice for?
- People going through a divorce who want a civilized, respectful resolution of the issues and are willing to focus on solutions rather than on blame or revenge
- People who want to maintain a productive working relationship with their (ex) spouses
- People who will be co-parenting and want to keep children’s interests at the forefront, i.e., protecting children from the negative impact associated with bitter litigation
- People who want to control decision-making over child-rearing and/or financial arrangements rather that turning it over to a stranger (judge)
- People who place as much or more value on the relationship that will exist in the restructured family as on obtaining maximum resources
- People who value privacy.
What are the benefits of Collaborative Practice?
Better for children
- Gives children a voice in the process, alleviating the potential of future trauma that sometimes persists for generations
- Keeps problems and assets private
- Improves communication between parties
- Keeps control of process with the spouses
- Promotes respect and healthier long-term communications
Focus on the future
- Saves time
- The process is more efficient, productive and targeted because of the unique structure of the collaborative team
Learning effective communication skills
- Communication skills acquired during the collaborative process may have positive applications outside divorce.