What Is Collaborative Divorce?

What Is Collaborative Divorce or Separation?

When we imagine what divorce looks like, we can conjure up images of stress, messiness, struggle and bitterness related to the entire process. Divorce, is a multifaceted issue including both heavy emotions and legal/bureaucratic rulings. In short, it’s not considered an easy or quick process. But, what if there was another way?

Today’s post will discuss Collaborative Divorce, an alternative divorce method that includes teams of professionals working together in the best interest of everyone involved, including children. This process works for each party, in an effort to avoid a potentially painful court process.

While discussing Collaborative Divorce, we’ll learn:

  • What Collaborative Divorce is
  • What A Collaborative Practice Team Looks Like
  • Who Collaborative Divorce Works For

What Is Collaborative Divorce?

The history of Collaborative Divorce can be traced back to the early 1990s with Family Lawyer Stu Webb. After many years of experience in Family Court and after going through one too many bitter divorce battles, he decided he needed to either develop a new approach to the divorce/separation process or quit family law altogether.

In an effort to continue practicing family law, Webb decided to only represent clients who wished to settle outside of court, an agreement that the other parties lawyer would also agree to uphold. This would signal the inception of Collaborative Practice and would help individuals obtain a Collaborative Divorce where all parties are equally represented.

Who Is Part Of A Collaborative Practice Team?

Although Collaborative Practice originated with lawyers, it soon became a holistic team practice, including mental health professionals and financial advisors to provide a well rounded solution for clients.

Now, most Collaborative Divorce teams include:

Collaborative Practice Lawyers

Clients who wish to settle through the Collaborative Method will each obtain a trained Collaborative Practice Lawyer, who works with their individual client and then comes to the table for collaborative discussions with the other parties involved. These meetings are often attended by other neutral team members and the discussion takes a non-adversarial approach to conflict resolution.

Collaborative Family Coaches

These individuals can be counselors, social workers, psychologists or mediators who take a neutral position, working with both parties and any children involved to provide emotional support, parenting and mental health support. Many of our practitioners at Reflection Centre are trained and work within the Collaborative Approach.

Collaborative Financial Professionals

Accountants and Financial Planners are amongst the team and provide expertise in separating a number of financial endeavours including: bank accounts, properties, investments and pensions. As financial professionals, they ensure all financial information is collected and accurate.

Who Can Collaborative Divorce Work For?

The Collaborative Approach to divorce or separation can be the correct route for a variety of individuals, for a variety of reasons. Some of these include:

  • For Privacy
  • For Low Conflict Divorces
  • To Preserve Assets
  • For Parents Who Wish to Protect Their Children From The Litigation Process
  • To Avoid Timely Legal Battles and Red Tape.

For more information regarding Collaborative Divorce or Separation, contact us today to connect with a member of our team trained in the Collaborative Approach or visit Collaborative Practice Simcoe County to learn more.

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