Peaceful Divorce

What Is Collaborative Divorce? by Robert D. Bordett CFP, CDFA{Read in 3:10 minutes} Over the next several blog articles, I thought I would write about the different models of Alternative Dispute Resolution models for divorcing families.

The collaborative process -- also called collaborative law or collaborative divorce -- is voluntary, private, confidential, and ensures full disclosure. That means it is the understanding and responsibility of each party to disclose all financial and other issues regarding the divorce.

The focus of collaborative is on reaching a settlement that meets the current and future needs of both parties and the family -- not on assigning blame.

The backbone of the collaborative process is the participation agreement. The parties involved must sign an agreement stating that the entire team is disqualified from working with either party if they end up going into court.

Couples always retain their right to go to court if this process ends without an agreement. 

This sounds like mediation: with mediation, you have a choice to have attorneys with you in the mediation. In collaborative, you may have a team of professionals working for you. Each party has their own attorney that is trained in collaborative, and may have mental health professionals working as coaches, a child specialist who is neutral to the parents but is the voice for the child or children, and a financial neutral. There are many different models available, such as attorney-only, full team, and referral. At the end of the day, however, each party has their own attorney, trained in collaborative.

In the collaborative process, each team member has certain responsibilities:

Mental health professionals working as coaches:

  • Teaching communication and listening skills
  • Guiding each party through family dynamics
  • Supporting each party with issues related to healthy divorce recovery
  • Providing emotional encouragement and parenting plan assistance

Attorneys for each party:

  • Advising clients about the law
  • Assisting clients to clarify their goals, interests, concerns, and priorities
  • Working with other collaborative attorneys as divorce guides
  • Completing tasks related to the settlement agreement

A financial neutral:

  • Meeting jointly with the parties
  • Helping to educate the parties
  • Working on division of assets and liability, tax issues, child support, spousal support or alimony, retirement accounts, and other financial issues that may arise
  • WILL NOT negotiate or resolve differences between the parties

A child specialist, neutral to the parents, acting as the children’s voice:

  • Focusing on the children's needs during the divorce
  • Ensuring the children have a safe and private place to ask questions, express needs, and address problems related to the divorce
  • Bringing into the process important information about the needs and concerns of the children

Although the collaborative process is less expensive than litigation, it is difficult to compare the two methods; if someone hasn’t been through a divorce, there is nothing to compare the collaborative model to. There is no frame of reference regarding how litigation can affect them, emotionally or financially.

If you have questions regarding the collaborative process, please don’t hesitate to contact me today.

The Inside Scoop on the New Mortgage Rules from an Expert
Robert D. Bordett CFP, CDFA
Collaborative Practice
and Mediation Services
888 U2AGREE (888.822.4733)

Views: 17


You need to be a member of Peaceful Divorce to add comments!

Join Peaceful Divorce

Become an affiliate of the Happily Divorced! book and audio program! Let Reformed "Killer" Divorce Attorney, Cynthia Tiano, and Dr. Max Vogt, Marriage and Family Psychologist, take you on an adventure into the lives of two families going through the divorce legal system - one doing "legal battle" and the other creating a "peaceful divorce". Learn how to create a Win-Win from their experiences...


Latest Activity

Robert D. Bordett, CFP, CDFA posted a blog post

What Is a Caucus?

One of the guiding values in mediation and collaborative law is transparency. It comes with the territory when one is trying to establish trust with two different parties. Sometimes an issue may arise that one party may wish not to discuss in front of the other. If they both agree, separate meetings may take place. These meetings are called caucuses.Caucuses can be…See More
Oct 22, 2019
Robert D. Bordett, CFP, CDFA posted a blog post

How Important Is the Budget in Divorce Planning?

I think everyone’s least favorite word is BUDGET. Why don’t we want to hear that word? Think about it: We’re asking ourselves to do something we don’t want to do — or worse yet, someone else is asking us to do it. While we might not like them, having a budget does help. In divorce planning — whether you are going to litigation,…See More
Sep 18, 2019
Robert D. Bordett, CFP, CDFA posted a blog post

21st Century Parenting Plans

I remember when the default custody arrangement had one parent as the custodial parent, and the other parent was known as the “Disneyland parent.” They had their children every other weekend, and maybe once during the week for dinner. Today it is more common to see joint parenting time consist of one week on, and one week off or “two-two-five-five” time,…See More
Aug 15, 2019
Robert D. Bordett, CFP, CDFA posted a blog post

Including a Financial Professional in Your Mediation

Very often, couples who are divorcing amicably, or who have straightforward financial situations, will forgo meeting with a financial professional while they go through mediation. Though this may seem logical on its face, “going it alone” may result in unnecessary hardship and inaccurate calculations.  It is easy to simply look at a tax table today and say “I am going…See More
Jul 30, 2019
Robert D. Bordett, CFP, CDFA posted a blog post

What About the House?

Going through divorce means dealing with hundreds of details, some more important than others. One detail that merits extra contemplation is how to deal with the marital home.Does one spouse want to keep it because the children still live there? You don't want to disrupt their lives any more than is already happening. What if the children are grown? Do you still need that much of a house?Here are the three most common means of dealing with the house in divorce:Selling the house and dividing the…See More
Apr 24, 2019




© 2020   Created by Cynthia Tiano, Esq..   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service