What Is A Collaborative Divorce?

Posted November 28, 2017

Divorce is not a life event where collaboration immediately comes to mind. But for couples looking to dissolve their marriage inexpensively and without intense fighting, a collaborative divorce can be an attractive option.

A collaborative divorce is typically one that is removed from the courtroom setting – where couples are “in it to win it” against each other – and into a negotiation setting where the two parties work to troubleshoot and problem solve instead.

Benefits of a collaborative divorce

What may be the most attractive reason for couples to seek a collaborative divorce is that it often saves money, as litigation can be expensive. Couples discuss the division of assets and property in an informal setting and can negotiate a result that is most fair and affordable for both parties.

Collaborative divorce also typically saves couples time. If you are able to avoid litigation, the divorce can be finalized faster. Parties can also decide during the collaborative divorce process to determine how best to handle any post-settlement disputes that may arise in the future, saving time and energy on a hypothetical future argument.

Collaborative divorce requirements

Little is required for a collaborative divorce: simply having two parties who are willing and interested in a problem-solving negotiation style is the most important thing.
Couples should consider determining their needs and wants from the divorce independently and with their own attorney before meeting with their spouse. Be prepared to have frank, open discussions about the divorce and dividing assets fairly and with the goal of a positive result for you both.

There is no guarantee that conversations won’t get tense, but conflict can be avoided by knowing what you want and how to express it beforehand and having an open mind to what your spouse might suggest.

If you partner, however, is reluctant or outright hostile about the idea, seeking a collaborative divorce may not be worth the effort. In that case, having good representation in the courtroom can help you achieve a positive outcome, even if it isn’t a collaborative process.