Principles of Collaborative Practice
The heart of Collaborative Practice or Collaborative Divorce — also called “no-court divorce”, “divorce with dignity“, or “peaceful divorce“ — is to offer you and your spouse or partner the support, protection, and guidance of your own lawyers without going to court. Additionally, Collaborative Divorce allows you the benefit of child and financial specialists, divorce coaches and other professionals all working together on your team. The clients have the option of starting their divorce process with any of the professionals, and then adding other professionals as needed. The collaborative process empowers the parties to craft their own agreements, incorporating the highest priorities of all involved.
There are several primary principles which separate the collaborative process from traditional litigation:
- The parties personally negotiate a mutually acceptable settlement, without using the court to decide issues for them.
- The parties agree to open communication and full disclosure of all relevant information, which eliminates the need for expensive discovery.
- The collaborative process mandates that all professionals must withdraw from representing or assisting either client, if either client engages in any form of litigation about the dispute. This principle ensures the confidentiality and integrity of the process. It further reduces the likelihood that either party will threaten to go to court and, therefore, encourages the clients to remain in the process to find mutually–acceptable and creative solutions.