What Is it?

Collaborative Practice is a way for spouses to resolve their divorce respectfully, without going to court. The Collaborative Law model was developed in Minnesota in the 1980s. Each client has the support, protection and guidance of his or her own lawyer. While Collaborative lawyers are always a part of the process, sometimes child specialists, financial specialists and divorce coaches become involved as part of the clients' team. Clients choose professionals as needed and benefit from their expertise and support throughout the process.

Collaborative Practice is distinguished from traditional litigation by these core elements:

  • Professionals are hired to negotiate a mutually acceptable settlement without using court to decide any issues
  • The professionals must withdraw if either client goes to court
  • Clients and professionals engage in open communication and information sharing, and
  • Everyone creates shared solutions that take into account the highest priorities of both spouses