Obtaining a divorce using the collaborative process allows the parties to work with their attorneys and other professionals to resolve the issues through settlement by full disclosure and negotiation outside the courtroom. Each party has their own lawyer who provides independent legal advise to their respective clients. The lawyers and the parties agree what is needed for collaboration and bring in other professionals such as divorce coaches, therapists, financial experts and child specialists.
A collaborative Divorce should not be confused with Mediation. When the parties mediate the issues in their divorce, the mediator is a neutral party. The parties meet with that neutral party who suggests a resolution. The parties can accept that resolution or work through some form of that suggested resolution. If parties are unable to work through the suggestions of a neutral mediator then they have two choices (1) have a contested matter that involves the court, or (2) use the collaborative process.
Collaborative Divorce requires (1) complete voluntary disclosure by both parties of everything, no information is withheld or hidden; (2) each party to agree on the experts necessary for their particular case and jointly choose real estate agents, appraisers, parenting coordinators, accountants, etc. and shares the cost; (3) both parties desire to have a desire to work through their divorce with no court proceedings.