The Collaborative Approach

As your collaborative divorce attorney:

I work with you and the other members of the Collaborative Team to get you through your divorce efficiently; with the least amount of pain and expense.

I listen to you, answer your questions and work with you to achieve your interests and reach your goals.

I will likely save you money, time, and emotional distress because you will be using the Collaborative Team Approach for the successful resolution of all divorce issues.

Collaborative Divorce

In Collaborative Divorce, you, your spouse, your lawyers and other Collaborative Team members make up the Collaborative Team. The Team has one goal, the collaborative resolution of all issues without trial or arbitration or the threat of either. This goal is accepted at the beginning in a written agreement signed by all Collaborative Team Members.

The Collaborative Team will include coaches who will make your divorce process more efficient and usually less expensive.

The most common Collaborative Coaches are the Facilitator and the Financial Neutral. Your Facilitator expedites the process by helping you and your spouse precisely identify short and long term goals. Your Financial Neutral expedites the process by analyzing the unique needs of your family, identifying tax provisions related to those needs and creating realistic plans to preserve family income and property.

In Collaborative Divorce attorneys are specially trained and certified in the practice of Collaborative Law. Since neither attorney need be concerned about the possibility of a trial, each is free to consider all options for obtaining a satisfactory resolution. In fact, all Collaborative Team members are encouraged to think "outside the box" when working toward the resolution of unique problems.

Should one party decide to convert to the Adversarial Approach, both attorneys must withdraw, and certain information gathered in collaboration cannot be used in the adversarial process.

Unlike Mediation, which is a completely different Approach, your Collaborative Attorney is physically at your side through the whole process.

Collaborative Divorce is often the least expensive and most efficient approach because adversarial court appearances and other requirements of the Adversarial Approach are avoided, and because Coaches, who often cost less than Adversarial Attorneys, perform services that Adversarial Attorneys normally provide. (To compare and contrast the three approaches to a Massachusetts divorce see The Three Approaches to Divorce.)

I am a founding member and former director of the Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council. I am also a founder of North Shore Collaborative Divorce.

Point to Consider

Collaborative Divorce is totally confidential. Unlike the Adversarial Approach, you and your spouse can resolve issues confidentially in the Collaborative Approach. In the Adversarial Approach all proceedings are public.

Download a PDF handout about Collaborative Divorce