Collaborative Divorce

If you feel that you and your spouse would each benefit from retained legal representation throughout the divorce process, but do not wish to litigate (with the potential increase in conflict that the litigation system seems to foster), then collaborative divorce may be for you.wood bridge alt MP900289183

In the Collaborative Divorce model, you contract with your collaboratively trained attorney that they will not represent you in Court.  Your spouse will similarly contract with another collaboratively trained attorney.  These agreements set the scene for your attorneys to collaborate in helping you and your spouse to reach agreement.  This is a non-adversarial approach and is based on the principle that the parties, with support, advice and guidance from their attorneys working in a problem-solving and collaborative way, can reach their own agreement without causing additional harm to their potential to be good co-parents.

This is in contrast to the traditional litigation approach which requires your attorney to file your case with the court, prepare for appearing in court, and follow the court-imposed rules and schedules.  The litigation model tends to fuel conflict between the parties by its nature as it is based on the principle that adversarial representation is the optimal way to represent the client’s interest.

The Collaborative model is not for everyone and it not necessarily easier than litigation.  Ideally, a collaborative approach helps you to restructure your family. You will need to communicate directly with your spouse, with the help of the collaborative team, to express you goals, needs and desires for your future.

The Collaborative Law model often utilizes other professionals to assist the parties to reach resolution.

A Financial Consultant will collect the financial information and help the parties and their attorneys to understand it and reach a financial agreement.

Divorce Coaches focus on the emotional and communication issues, and often help with parenting issues. Sometimes one coach works with both parties and sometimes each party has their own coach.

We often use one of the neutral professionals (Coach or Financial Professional) to be the process facilitator in a role similar to a facilitative mediator, to help the parties and their attorneys have productive collaborative meetings, which saves time and money.

While the collaborative model is typically not as inexpensive as mediation without retained attorneys, it is often the right model for those who wish to work together, with attorneys,  in a non-adversarial way. In contrast to the litigation model, the collaborative model tends to focus resources on reaching deeper meaningful resolution rather than on procedural legal processes and defending positions.

Collaborative divorce is not for every situation.  If there is a history of abuse or fraud, high levels of distrust, unwillingness or inability to take the “high road”, or lack of full disclosure of financial information, then the collaborative process may not be ideal. Collaborative can be effective if there has been a history of mental illness and/or substance abuse.

For more information:

Rocky Mountain Divorce Professionals

Colorado Collaborative Divorce Professionals

International Academy of Collaborative Professionals

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