Collaborative Divorce

The Collaborative practice is a solution-oriented process for families who want to make decisions about the people and things most important to them, rather than handing their future over to the court.
Instead of focusing on getting the largest financial reward no matter what the human or financial cost, the parties and their counsel work toward “win-win” solutions to meet the needs of both spouses and the family as a whole. Each collaborative attorney has primary allegiance and duty to his or her own client, but recognizes that serving the highest interests of the client includes acting with integrity, respect, and in the spirit of cooperation.

How The Collaborative Practice Works

Everyone agrees to work together respectfully, honestly, and in good faith through a series of meetings between husband, wife, and their collaborative team. No one may go to court, or even threaten to do so, as long as they are in the collaborative process.

Your collaborative team includes a Divorce Coach. A divorce coach is a mental health professional who ensures emotions are productively processed and helps you avoid getting stuck in pain and anger which can naturally arise. The coach also helps you replace unproductive communications patterns with new ways to communicate to better reach agreements and prepare you to co-parent in the future.

After signing the collaborative participation agreement in the first joint meeting, you and your team will identify:

  • immediate needs
  • goals for children during the separation and after the divorce
  • parenting plan possibilities
  • a process for identifying assets and debts and how documents for each will be obtained
  • financial objectives including how earnings and expenses will be handled
  • the next meeting date

Meetings are held until all issues have been discussed and agreement reached.

Finalizing the Divorce

After settlement is reached, a Judgment of Divorce is drafted with the details of your agreement. Both spouses and lawyers sign the agreement and a very brief hearing is scheduled to submit the judgment to the court for the judge to sign. Only the spouse who filed for divorce and his or her lawyer need attend.

Related Articles From Berecz & Associates, PLC