What is the difference between Collaborative Practice and conventional divorce?

In a conventional divorce, one spouse sues the other for divorce and sets in motion a series of legal steps. Frequently the process leads to the involvement of the court to achieve a final resolution. The process of a conventional divorce by its nature forces the spouses to become adversaries, with one eventually being the “winner” and the other being the “loser.” The conflict generated as a result can cause tremendous emotional trauma for all the participants and destroy relationships. It is especially difficult on children who can be made to feel they must take sides as well.

By its definition, Collaborative Practice is a non-adversarial approach to divorce. The parties and both lawyers along with any other supportive Collaborative Team professionals pledge in writing not to go to court. Parties negotiate in good faith, and achieve a mutually-agreed upon settlement outside of court. The parties remain in control of the timing, the discussion, the areas to be addressed, and the solutions. The cooperative nature of Collaborative Practice can greatly ease the emotional strain caused by the breakup of a marriage, preserve family relationships and mental health, prevent anxiety and stress, and protect the well-being of children.