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Collaborative Divorce

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The Collaborative Approach

The traditional collaborative model is anchored in a team-based, cooperative approach to divorce. Your commitment to the collaborative process centers on open communication and sharing information to create a mutually acceptable resolution. From the outset, you agree not to go to court. The goal is to foster an environment where the parties and attorneys involved can reach “win-win” agreements.

The Collaborative Team

Most collaborative teams include two attorneys, a neutral coach, a financial professional, and a child specialist if children are involved. Accountants, appraisers, therapists, and other experts are often brought in to address specific questions.

Clients often worry that involving more professionals increases overall costs. However, engaging multiple professionals can actually save money and increase efficiency. For example, rather than hiring two experts to fight in court, couples can use their resources to get information from one source. Additionally, the collaborative approach ensures that couples are utilizing the most competent person in a given field.

“Small C” Collaborative Approach

Though the collaborative process is generally done with a team of professionals, you can tailor your collaborative process to meet your needs. Often, people choose to have a smaller collaborative team. We call this the “Small C” collaborative approach. You agree that you do not want to go to court, but you may decide you do not need the assistance of any professionals other than attorneys. The RKV Law Domestic Relations Team has successfully applied this approach to a divorce with millions of dollars at stake and children involved.

In both the traditional collaborative approach and the “Small C” collaborative approach, if you cannot reach a resolution you can still present your case to the judge. However, you and your spouse will have to seek alternative representation as neither attorney representing you in the collaborative process can represent you in court.

Benefits to the Collaborative Approach

  1. Maintaining privacy. The collaborative method offers far more privacy than court divorce. The collaborative method allows the divorce process to take place outside a public courtroom setting, keeping many intimate details off the public record.
  2. More control. You make the decisions in your divorce rather than leaving it up to a judge.
  3. Comprehensive agreements. The person most familiar with the particular needs of your family is you. Thus, the agreements you create are going to be more comprehensive and address all your concerns. Better agreements reduce the risk for conflict in the future.

Cost

While the collaborative approach has more cost at the outset of your case, the cost of litigating your case is likely to be far greater.

Less bitterness

Those who go through the collaborative process often continue to use collaborative skills after the divorce is finalized. When children are involved, this can help couples become better co-parents and stay focused on the needs of the children.

Let Ryan, Amy, Georgina or Samantha know if you think the collaborative approach may work for you.

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