The Collaborative Process

Collaborative Divorce offers a safe, respectful, and private process for shared decision-making by divorcing couples. In the process, you and your spouse will work with a Collaborative professional team to help all members of your family.

You and your spouse will each be represented by a Collaborative matrimonial attorney, who will guide you throughout the process, and help you craft the best resolution for your family. In addition to your lawyers, you will work together with a neutral financial professional, a neutral coach, and, when needed, a child specialist.

The Collaborative professional team offers skilled guidance to help you reach workable solutions for your family’s future lives. The team encourages respect and cooperation throughout the process, and maintains a balanced view of the issues and potential solutions. You and your spouse will discuss the issues that are most important to you, directly, without the stress and hostility of court, creating a pathway toward resolution that is typically more efficient, with an outcome more durable, than that achieved in court.

You and your spouse will work together in structured, face-to-face meetings, and will:

  • identify your priorities and goals
  • gather and analyze your financial information
  • develop your economic picture and discuss options for sharing assets and liabilities, handling cash flow, and supporting your children financially
  • develop a parenting plan designed to meet your children’s needs
  • create an effective co-parenting relationship that will enable you to make future decisions together for the benefit of your children
  • brainstorm and assemble options to reach final resolution

Once you have reached final agreement on all issues, your attorneys will formalize these decisions in a legal settlement agreement, which will become the basis for your divorce. No court intervention is needed except for the filing of uncontested divorce papers, which results in a judgment of divorce incorporating the terms of the settlement agreement. You and your spouse will not appear in court and your divorce remains a private family matter, safeguarding the dignity of each family member.

 

Downloadable Resources

Planning for a Good Outcome

Collaborative Process Road Map

Collaborative Divorce Participation Agreement

Ground Rules for the Collaborative Process

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Northern Westchester Collaborative Divorce Law Group (NWCDNY).