The collaborative divorce process is becoming more popular these days than conventional court-based divorce. It allows
you and your spouse to have input into a negotiated agreement in a neutral setting with some professional help. The
process works well if both parties can agree on key aspects of the divorce or guiding principles. If you can agree on
basic terms, you might only need a lawyer to draft a legal agreement.
The way it works is that both you and your spouse each hire a collaborative lawyer who advises and assists you in
lawyers to withdraw from the process if either of you resort to court. Each of you then consults with your lawyer before
and after having four-way meetings. The process can move very quickly towards a signed separation agreement if you
and your spouse can find common ground.
There are many benefits to using a collaborative approach instead of taking a more adversarial stance. These
advantages include the ability to: avoid escalating conflict, preserve dignity and moral standards, preserve privacy, learn
to compromise, influence the final outcome, cut costs, and achieve an uncontested divorce with less effort.
Avoid Escalating Conflict
Too many couples end up in a lengthy, high conflict divorce, with aggressive lawyers representing both parties. Such
couples can end up with destructive emotions that get in the way of achieving a reasonable settlement.
Instead, by using collaborative law, you participate voluntarily. You agree to exchange all necessary information and
might learn more about each other’s perspectives. You may also gain access to information that is otherwise not
available using other processes. You are more likely to achieve a mutually acceptable outcome than using an
Preserve Dignity and Moral Standards
prevent your morale from deteriorating. You can save face instead of trying to humiliate your spouse and feel good
about how you treated him or her in the end. Regardless of feelings, your spouse will remain the parent of your
children, who still love and need a relationship with their other parent after everything is settled in the separation.
Preserving these important relationships can avoid undue suffering and put both you and your spouse in a “win-win”
By avoiding use of the court system, your personal and financial information is not available in the public record.
Learn to Compromise
If you and your spouse can foster a culture of tolerance and both give a little more to achieve an agreement, then you
can spend less financially and emotionally on the whole process. With both of you compromising to achieve
reasonable goals, you can eliminate the occurrence of lingering resentments and reduce the chance of costly future
Impact the Final Outcome
The opportunity to have input in the agreement will help both of you accept an agreement and increase the ability for
both parties to follow the agreement moving forward. The potential gains of settling out of court are significant for the
amount of time and resources spent, even if the final outcome is different than your starting point.
By contrast, if you opt to go to court instead, you will have to rely on the court system to decide your settlement. The
lack of control in this process can lead to a rise in stress as you place your fate in another’s hands. You could very
well end up with an unfavorable result for both you and your former partner.
When you use the collaborative law process, you agree on a legal procedure that is relatively quick, effective and cuts
down the expense of legal representation in court. The willingness of both sides to settle early is likely to be greater
than when the stakes are raised with more legal fees incurred.
Achieve an Uncontested Divorce More Easily
With a signed separation agreement, where all issues have been resolved, the legal part of the divorce is a simple
matter that does not require a court appearance or trial. Having worked through the issues using collaborative law, the
filing of divorce will be a simple, uncontested procedure.
Contact Us at Coley, Hennessy, Cassis, Ewasko
today. We can inform you of your legal rights and obligations before you take any further steps. We can attend four-
way meetings with you to achieve negotiations and then draft an agreement for you and your spouse’s lawyer’s
approval. You can then sign off after our final review and approve any minor changes that have been made to the
In our experience, the collaborative divorce process allows both sides to work together to help find solutions to
problems rather than build their case against the other party.