Meeting with Your Collaborative Divorce Attorney

Valuable Legal Insight to Peacefully Navigate Your Divorce

When most think about attorneys and the divorce process, they think of the ruthless, cutthroat type of lawyer you’d hear about in the old-style courtroom divorces. But because collaborative divorce is rooted in cooperation, amicable communication, transparency and resolution out of court, a collaborative attorney is solely motivated to help couples reach a mutually-beneficial settlement for their family, finances and future.

Collaborative attorneys may look like your run of the mill family lawyers, but they receive special instruction on how to navigate the collaborative process, how to interact with coaches and other collaborative professionals, and how to get couples on the same page about settlement options.

The Role of a Collaborative Divorce Attorney

It’s important to understand a few very important things about your collaborative divorce attorney—they’re committed to seeing you and your spouse work cooperatively through the process, staying out of court and keeping the team moving forward. In fact, if for some reason your case dissolves and is unable to be negotiated through the collaborative approach, you and your spouse will have signed documents to prevent either attorney from representing or testifying against you in a litigated case.

Your collaborative attorney will often serve as the point person for all team communications, typically working to coordinate schedules, convey needs and goals, and provide legal counsel and feedback as the process progresses.

It’s your collaborative attorney’s role to facilitate discussions that identify your ideal outcomes. Your attorney will discuss your values, goals, concerns and fears in order to help develop creative solutions throughout the process.

Benefits of Working with a Collaborative Divorce Attorney

Aside from a much calmer, more supportive, less tense and often times less expensive divorce, benefits to working with a collaborative divorce attorney include:

  • Cooperation and Teamwork — Your collaborative attorney will be a team player, and help you interact cooperatively with your spouse and the rest of the collaborative divorce team.
  • Excellent Communication Skills — Your needs, goals and concerns are important, and your collaborative attorney will work to convey these effectively with your spouse and the entire team.
  • Creativity and Problem-Solving — Creating a mutually-beneficial settlement can be complicated, but your collaborative attorney will work to devise creative solutions to meet both you and your spouse’s needs.
  • Valuable Legal Counsel — The legal system can be complicated. Your collaborative attorney will help you understand all legal elements involved throughout the process.

What to Expect from Your Collaborative Attorney

Your collaborative attorney must, first and foremost, be a team player interested in cooperation. Having this characteristic will keep the team moving forward the same goal, and offer the greatest opportunity for success.

You should expect your attorney to be focused on understanding the root of the conflict between you and your spouse. This will prepare them to partner with you to build solutions that offer the greatest degree of resolution and allow you to maintain a relationship after divorce, especially if you have children which you will be co-parenting.

You can also expect greater transparency and more open communication, both with the entire collaborative team, as well as your spouse and their attorney. The goal is to keep pushing toward the best resolution possible—and staying out of court.

What’s Next?