Collaborative Divorce Process

What is Collaborative Divorce?

Collaborative practice, including collaborative law and interdisciplinary collaborative divorce, is a new way for you to resolve disputes respectfully — without going to court.

The heart of collaborative practice or collaborative divorce (also called “no-court divorce,” “divorce with dignity,” “peaceful divorce”) is to offer you and your spouse the support, protection, and guidance of your own lawyers without going to court. Instead of a court room, you’ll meet together in sessions to come to mutually beneficial decisions.

Additionally, collaborative divorce allows you the benefit of child and financial specialists, divorce coaches, and other expertly trained professionals all working together on your team.

Why Do People Seek Collaborative Divorce?

Divorce is a sensitive, personal matter that can be stressful and emotionally exhausting.

Many couples find the no-court process known as collaborative divorce a welcome alternative to the often destructive, uncomfortable aspects of conventional divorce battles in court.

For those looking to cooperate and maintain respect with their spouse (even during disagreements), to prioritize the needs of children involved, and to avoid the unpredictability of court litigation, collaborative divorce may be a good option to pursue.

How Does the Collaborative Divorce Process Work?

Collaborative law is a voluntary dispute resolution process in which the couple comes together, with the help of the mediator, to work out agreements on divorce issues.

During the divorce process, parties sign a collaborative participation agreement describing the nature and scope of the matter, and agree to use good faith efforts in their negotiations to reach a mutually acceptable settlement.

The parties voluntarily disclose all information which is relevant and material to the matter that must be decided, opening up a clear exchange of information for both spouses to negotiate with each other in confidence.

A mediator during collaborative divorce can help keep negotiations focused, encourage positive communication, and intervene when decisions are hard to reach - which allows spouses to come to resolutions that make sense to each.

Each party must be represented by a lawyer whose representation terminates upon the undertaking of any contested court proceeding.

Additionally, the parties may choose to engage mental health specialists, financial professionals, and/or other experts to provide support during the divorce process, whose engagement also terminates upon the undertaking of any contested court proceeding.

Collaborative divorce is focused on spouses working together during sessions to resolve divorce issues in a safe and flexible environment.

5 Benefits of Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative practice provides alternative divorce help that can benefit many families. There are several factors to consider when deciding what divorce method would be a good fit for your situation.

Maintain Control

  • Traditional divorce litigation battles in court can be unpredictable, costly, and difficult on families.
  • Collaborative divorce puts control back into the hands of those directly affected by the outcomes, fostering motivation to come to resolutions that work best for all parties involved.


  • A mediator during the collaborative divorce process doesn’t work for either party, remaining neutral and objective when providing conflict support.

 Amicable Divorce

  • With collaborative divorce, no attorneys put up walls between you and your spouse. Collaborative practice is focused on open communication to reach decisions that are mutually beneficial for all parties.

Divorce Effects on Children

  • When conflict is obvious and occurs over extended periods of time, it can be damaging to children regardless of the result. Fighting out divorce issues in court can accentuate an already difficult situation.
  • By making the commitment to put your children’s interests first, and by taking the time to educate yourself about your options, your family may find that you can develop a parenting agreement that each of you feels is essentially fair.


  • The costs of a conventional divorce process can add up quickly when factoring in attorney fees, and potentially paying for testimony from a counselor or therapist prior to submitting any final report or a custody evaluation.
  • Divorce in the court system is designed to limit communication and often results in dissatisfaction on both sides, which inevitably leads to many post-divorce problems and escalating costs.
  • Getting a divorce can be costly to begin with when it comes to splitting incomes, and funding separate living situations. Adding attorney fees and funding custody battles can add to these costs exponentially.

Contact Applied Divorce Solutions

If you’re interested in avoiding traditional, destructive divorce litigation and are looking for a cooperative way to resolve divorce issues, collaborative divorce may be a good alternative for your family.

Applied Divorce Solutions offers fair and confidential divorce help, allowing couples to openly communicate and agree on the resolutions that best fit their family.

Complete the form below to speak with Donna Smalldon and learn more about how you and your family can move forward in life.

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