There are four key elements that form the foundation of the collaborative divorce process.
Open Exchange of Information
The hallmark of the collaborative process is the commitment to full transparency. At the beginning of the process, the parties agree in writing to fully disclose all information and pertinent documentation. With open, honest, and full voluntary exchange of information, the expense and delays typically associated with the discovery process are eliminated. Aside from trial, the discovery process is one of the most expense aspects of a litigated divorce. Open exchange of information can significantly reduce the overall cost of divorce and it also allows the parties to focus on resolving the issues.
Pledge Not To Litigate
In the collaborative divorce, the parties and their attorneys commit to working towards a mutual agreement without resorting to litigation. Should the negotiations breakdown and the parties decide to go to court, the attorneys are disqualified from further representation of either party. The parties must then find new attorneys and start over. This aspect of the collaborative process ensures that everyone is fully committed to a resolution without going to court.
The Commitment of the Collaborative Professionals
The collaborative team of professionals make a commitment to making the best use of their skills, experience and expertise in assisting the parties in reaching an agreement without having to resort to the judicial decision-making process. The collaborative team, including financial professionals and advisors, and mental health professionals, , have training in the collaborative process and are committed to working toward finding shared solutions in the best interest of all parties.
Respect for Shared Goals
The goal of the collaborative process is to assist the parties to finding common ground and reaching an agreement that is win-win for everyone. The team works with the couple to gather information and identify the issues that need to be resolved and then to find creative mutually agreeable solutions.