The Collaborative Solution
Collaborative divorce is not a new concept. It was founded by Stu Webb, a litigation attorney, in 1989. Webb understood that family negotiation did not belong in the “win-lose” mindset of traditional litigation. Having personally witnessed the damage of the court process on families, his core philosophy was that divorce is not a legal issue but instead a family relationship issue with legal implications. His commitment was to help clients negotiate a “win-win” settlement, and the collaborative divorce concept was born.
Collaborative Divorce Is Efficient
Collaborative divorce is a process of alternative dispute resolution. It is a cost-effective, problem-solving approach that can minimize the impact of conflict on you and your children. It is an approach where separate attorneys, specially trained in the collaborative process, are retained by each spouse to help negotiate conflict resolutions. They implement cooperative techniques rather than adversarial strategies and litigation.
The result is a customized, legally-binding agreement (Property Settlement Agreement) that addresses equitable distribution of property, spousal and child support and parenting time and custody. In collaborative divorce, all negotiations take place outside the adversarial court system. All information is transparent, and all negotiations are conducted respectfully around a table. Both spouses commit to not commence litigation during the negotiation process. This allows for a settlement-oriented process without the cost, uncertainty, stress and hostility of traditional litigation.
Collaborative divorce preserves your privacy and dignity. It also offers the best chance to resolve your disputes with an optimal positive outcome. Collaborative divorce results in a customized and lasting agreement along with a smooth transition during the restructuring of the family system – all centered around the best interests of your children.
Collaborative Divorce Is Cost Effective
Collaborative divorce is cost-effective, both financially and emotionally. It does not involve the multiple steps, calls for documentation and attorney fees associated with traditional litigation. In traditional divorces, clients will question their attorney about the cost of the divorce and are often met with the typical “it depends how much you want to fight” response. Anger, hostility and an “out to get you” attitude of revenge are emotions that drive up the cost of divorce. These emotions are often “stirred” by litigation attorneys and by the adversarial court system itself. Because collaborative divorce eschews such emotions and strategies, the tangible and intangible cost to clients is significantly reduced.