Collaborative Divorce is a client-driven process with a team-oriented approach. In the Collaborative Divorce Process, the parties make a commitment—via a formal Participation Agreement—to resolve their matter without judicial intervention. The parties agree to full disclosure of all relevant information and to provide all requested documentation and/or the necessary authorizations to avoid the need for formal discovery and subpoenas, etc. The parties also agree that everything within the Collaborative Divorce Process is privileged.
The parties build a team which typically consists of a Divorce Coach—whose primary role is to make sure the process goes smoothly addressing emotional roadblock to arriving at an agreement and if the parties have children, to help develop the parenting plan and prepare the parties to effectively co-parent post-divorce, while also handling the intricacies of how/when to tell the children about the divorce, etc.—and a Financial Neutral—whose primary role is to accumulate and summarize the relevant financial data so that the parties can (1) be fully educated and aware of their financial circumstances and (2) focus on reasonable, cost-effective and fair resolutions of the financial issues in their case. The team can also include various advisors as needed such as real estate agents, mortgage brokers, or appraisers, who are retained by the parties to assist them in confirming that the options being considered are actually feasible. We also have child specialists in our group who can address a child’s needs directly on a case by case basis.
Once the team is built, the parties gather all relevant information and documentation and establish individual and shared goals. Rather than attempting to resolve the matter via traditional positional bargaining (i.e., ask for $100,000 knowing you will settle for $60,000 after the other side offers $20,000 and you slowly work your way to the middle)—the parties are encouraged to explore all potential options for settlement, seeking to maximize their resources and generate win-win solutions.
The process continues through team meetings until a final resolution is reached.