A collaborative divorce is an alternative method of dispute resolution in a divorce. It is an alternative to a court divorce, and is based on cooperation between the parties.
In a collaborative divorce, you will be represented by an attorney, but your attorney will agree to use mutual cooperation techniques and not litigation in order to further your best interests. You, your spouse and your respective attorneys will agree to cooperate with each other, and commit yourself to a mutual negotiated outcome of the divorce. During the collaborative divorce, neither you nor your spouse will launch any litigation against each other.
Before you enter collaborative divorce proceedings, you will sign a Participation Agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, you will agree that if you are and your spouse are not able to reach a settlement as part of the collaboration, the attorneys will no longer be a part of the process, and will not continue to represent you in any litigation that you may want to initiate. Your attorney during the collaborative divorce will only help you reach a settlement, and will not represent you during the trial, should the negotiations fail and you desire to go to trial.
There are some key elements of a collaborative divorce. One is using non-adversarial techniques, and techniques that are purely based on cooperation and coming to a mutual agreement. All issues must be resolved in this manner. Both you and your ex-spouse will rely on your attorneys during this process, and attorneys are tasked with helping you reach a settlement.
Both of you will resolve that you will act in the best interests of your children, and minimize any trauma to the children as a result of the divorce.