Why Collaborative Divorce?

Although the traditional adversarial litigation model works well in some areas of the law, zealous advocacy can produce profound detrimental side effects in family law cases. Full-scale adversarial representation can require tactics that are destructive when employed in divorce cases, especially when children are involved. When contested divorces are fought as battles to be won, there can be no real winners. The negative impact can have long-term repercussions because a divorced couple has a relationship that continues after the litigation.

What is Collaborative Divorce?

Collaborative divorce is a process through which the parties and their individual attorneys commit themselves to resolving all issues of the divorce by negotiated agreement without resorting, or threatening to resort to costly court proceedings. Collaborative divorce uses informal methods such as voluntary production of financial documents, four-way conferences, negotiation, and where needed, outside professionals such as accountants, financial planners and family counselors. While some lawyers may refer to themselves as being collaborative in style, true collaborative lawyering requires commitment to the "no court" aspect of the process.

The collaborative model provides an opportunity and an incentive for parties and lawyers to use their best efforts to reach agreement. If this is not possible, then by the terms of the agreement between the parties and their attorneys, the parties are free to seek litigation counsel. Lawyers therefore have an incentive to facilitate agreement, rather than to foster conflict between the parties.

Any CDLA member would be happy to discuss the process to help you determine whether collaboration is suitable for you. Meet Our Attorneys.