Before determining whether you are the ideal candidate for collaborative divorce, you must understand what collaborative divorce is.
Collaborative divorce is a process by which parties and their respective lawyers sign a “Collaborative Participation Agreement” agreeing to negotiate in good faith in hopes of reaching a fair and equitable resolution of the issues arising from their relationship breakdown without going to court. The parties agree to full transparency throughout the process with the goal of reaching a settlement that best meets the interests of both parties. The process may involve other professionals brought in to assist in reaching a resolution of various issues, including counsellors, divorce coaches, child specialists and financial experts. In the event that a settlement cannot be reached and the process is terminated, the parties must retain new lawyers as the collaborative lawyers are prohibited from representing the parties in litigation.
Collaborative divorce may be the best option for you if you are in search of the following:
- a process that focusses on the interests of both parties;
- a process that emphasizes the needs of the children;
- a process that can be faster and less expensive than lengthy and ongoing litigation;
- a process whereby the lawyers retained are genuinely motivated to help the parties reach a resolution outside of court;
- a process that gives the parties control not just over the final settlement, but also control over the process itself;
- a process that allows parties to come up with creative solutions to meet the unique needs of their family;
- a process where parties are more inclined to adhere to mutually agreed upon resolutions as opposed to court ordered decisions;
- a process that maintains confidentiality for the parties and their family;
- a process in which parties are more likely to preserve civil relationships with each other, which can lead to more effective co-parenting relationships when children are involved.
The Collaborative Process can be just as effective for parties experiencing high levels of conflict and stress as those going through an amicable separation. Through the process, and with the involvement of experienced professionals including counsellors and divorce coaches, parties can learn tools to decease the conflict and stress arising from their separation. Collaborative divorce is a process that provides parties with legal, financial and emotional support to move forward in a positive way towards a resolution that reflects the interests of both parties.