Collaborative Practice uses a team approach to reach a divorce settlement amicably, in a fair, honest, child-friendly way.
In collaborative practice, the couple and their attorneys sign a written agreement not to go to court. A series of meetings is then scheduled with both parties and their attorneys. During these meetings, the couple discusses property, custody, parenting time and other issues. They agree to honest and full disclosure of information, and to remain respectful of each other throughout the process.
As needed, other professionals may attend the meetings, including financial advisors, child specialists, mediators, and accountants. Neutral experts such as appraisers, CPAs, pension specialists and mortgage lenders may also provide valuable information and expertise.
Both parties may have a personal advisor (also called a divorce coach) to help them manage the emotional ups and downs of the divorce process.
If the negotiations break down, or if either party decides to abandon the process or acts in an adversarial way that precludes an amicable settlement, all members of the Collaborative team, including both attorneys, must withdraw from the case.
Advantages of collaborative practice
Collaborative practice often reduces the time and cost involved in divorce by:
Costs are largely determined by how long it takes the participants to settle, a powerful incentive to negotiate in good faith, with an equitable settlement as the primary goal.