About Collaborative Practice

What Is Collaborative Practice?

A better option for you and your spouse is to reach an agreement.  You have a team of specially trained professionals who want you to stay out of court and save money and time.  

In a Collaborative separation, you, and your spouse each hire a Collaborative family lawyer.  You both hire the same family professional and financial professional. 

Everyone signs a Participation Agreement, and the lawyers promise not to go to court and instead work with you on settlement with the family professional and financial professional.  Everyone works together for the best results for you, your spouse, and your family.

Who's Involved In The Collaborative Process?

Family Lawyers

Providing legal guidance and advice throughout the process to ensure that you feel informed and confident as you make decisions and reach agreements.

Financial Professionals

Providing planning, accounting, valuation, and pension assistance to help you reach a fiscally responsible settlement.

Family Professionals

Supporting you with mediation, therapy, and coaching to ensure that your children’s needs are met throughout the process, and moving forward.

Understanding The Collaborative Process

Step 1.

Get Started.

You and your spouse each hire a specially trained Collaborative Family Lawyer who is registered with CPT and, if needed, you may also choose to work with collaboratively trained neutral family and financial professionals. 

Adding professionals does not necessarily mean added cost, as the goal is to distribute work between professionals in a coordinated manner. With their support and guidance, you and your spouse work together in a cooperative, non-adversarial fashion. 

Step 2.

Sign a Participation Agreement

You and your spouse promise in writing to voluntarily disclose all financial and other relevant information, to communicate respectfully, and to act in good faith as you negotiate toward a settlement. There are no threatening letters between lawyers, no affidavits with hurtful accusations, and no stressful court appearances.

Better still, by avoiding court, your personal and financial information remains completely private. 

Step 3.

Conduct Settlement Meetings

Settlement meetings are structured discussions in which you, your spouse, and your lawyers communicate and negotiate directly with one another. This constructive and forward focused meeting – and the whole Collaborative Process in general – is very much a team-based approach to resolving family law disputes. It is often helpful to include other Collaborative professionals, such as family and financial specialists in this meeting.

With your team of collaborative professionals, you and your spouse are encouraged to work through your emotions in order to make comprehensive legal, financial, and child-related agreements.

Step 4.

Engage in Settlement Talks

In the Collaborative Process, an interest-based problem solving approach is encouraged and decision-making is solely up to you and your spouse. 

Your Collaborative Professionals are there to help you prioritize and communicate your most important goals and keep settlement discussions focused on crafting creative and customized solutions, specific to the problems and concerns of both you and your spouse. Because of this, future conflict resolution can become easier to manage and carried out with integrity and respect.

Step 5.

Arrive at a Resolution

Once an understanding is reached on all of the issues and both you and your spouse are satisfied with the balance that has been struck, a written agreement is drafted by the lawyers. 

Once signed by you and your spouse, this becomes your Separation Agreement, which is a binding and enforceable contract. 

Scroll to Top