1. Control Over the Process and Outcome
Collaborative divorce is focused on the parties maintaining control over the process and the outcome, which includes controlling the time needed to complete the process, the issues that are important, the priorities for the family, and the ultimate settlement terms, rather than handing over your family’s future to the court which will dictate your financial future as well as your relationship with your own children.
2. Avoid Court Involvement
Collaboration involves the clients, their divorce coach(es), and their collaborative lawyers sitting at a table in a respectful, comfortable, civil, business-like atmosphere, where the clients can feel secure and take the time needed to communicate their thoughts and concerns while working as a team toward reaching a settlement, rather than facing hostility, casting blame on one another, and spending legal fees associated with preparing and testifying at trial.
3. Spend Valuable Attorney’s Fees on a Solution Rather Than on a Battle
The cost of a Collaborative Divorce is productive in that the investment made is rewarded by working together to resolve disputes to the benefit of the entire family, instead of spending limited funds on lawyers drafting aggressive court pleadings, writing letters, attending court dates, hiring different experts, exchanging e-mails, and the like all in the pursuit of battling one another in court without consideration for the overall health of the family and children.
4. Keeping the Peace for Children
Collaboration allows parents to focus on the overall health and well-being of their children with a shared goal of minimizing any negative impact the separation and divorce may have on the children, rather than having the children witness their parents waging a war against one another, while draining the family’s financial resources at the same time.
5. Participants Work Together as a Team
Each party has his or her own Collaborative lawyer acting as an advocate, but the lawyers work together as part of a team, along with the divorce coach and other possible team members (such as a financial neutral, Child Advocate, etc.) rather than focusing on fighting against one another.
6. The Divorce Coach
The Collaborative Team includes a Divorce Coach who is a trained mental health provider, and serves as a neutral facilitator to assist the clients in acknowledging and working through the emotional aspects of the separation, divorce, and settlement process, as opposed to neither party having anyone available to them to assist with the emotional strain caused by divorce, other than an aggressive attorney who has no training in mental health.
7. Neutral Experts
Collaborative Experts provide unbiased information and options when specialized expertise is needed, rather than each party hiring an “expert” and letting the experts fight-it-out at each spouse’s expense.
8. Proceed at Your Own Pace
Collaboration provides the clients control over their own divorce time-table which allows them to process both their emotional needs and make knowledgeable settlement decisions upon completion of full disclosure, rather than being forced to abide by the court’s case schedule.
9. Securing the Future for You and Your Children
Collaborative divorce keeps the focus on the family’s future and helps the parties learn skills for managing conflicts that may arise moving forward, rather than focusing on blame, anger, and hurt caused by the parties’ past behaviors.
10. Sets a Good Precedent for Resolving Disputes Yourselves
Especially in cases where children are involved, unanticipated disputes can arise months or years in the future. Having used a collaborative approach during the initial divorce sets the precedent for using the process again, or using some other alternative dispute resolution process such as mediation to handle new disputes, rather than returning to court litigation with all that entails.