Collaborative divorce is often considered the “respectful way to divorce.” This doesn’t necessarily mean that the divorce is always amicable (although it can be), it means the divorce is done with grace and courtesy. Here are some (of the many) ways in which collaborative divorce can be respectful.
  1. Cooperation. Resolutions are reached through cooperation and collaboration. Confrontation is inefficient and usually ineffective – it is therefore not a part of this process.
  2. Honesty. All information is gathered in collaborative divorce through voluntary, complete, and good faith processes. Clients and professionals work together to make sure everyone has all the information needed to make decisions in their own best interest.
  3. Input. In a collaborative divorce, all voices are valued and heard. Even if it is hard for a client to express their feelings or thoughts on elements of the divorce, the opinion of everyone is valued. Collaborative professionals help ensure this input.
  4. Creativity. In collaborative divorce, we know there are no one-size-fits all resolutions. We work together to come up with complete and unique outcomes that fit clients’ lives moving forward.
  5. Support. Clients are not alone in the collaborative process. Every client has legal support with an attorney. Clients can also have neutral financial and parenting specialists as needed. Mental health professionals are also available in the process to help with the communication and emotional challenges of divorce.
  6. Values. Collaborative divorce starts with development of goals. All the work and resolutions go towards meeting these goals. Clients’ values and interests are key to the process.
  7. Health. Divorce ends with a future beginning. The collaborative process keeps the overall health and well-being of the couple and the children at the forefront. That health is a focus throughout the process and moving forward.
Good collaborative professionals (attorneys, financial neutrals, mental health professionals) can help support these principles and keep the collaborative process respectful.