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Litigation vS. Collaborative Divorce

"Divorce doesn't have to be destructive. If you're considering divorce, we want you to know that you have options that don't involve a courtroom." 

There is a way to divorce in a healthy manner. Litigation should be a remedy of last resort.   In litigation, parties have no control over the process, whether in or out of court. People at the outset often find it hard to imagine where the common ground lies. But most assuredly common ground always exists, because that is how a couple was formed and couples often share interconnections into the future. Teasing out these joint interests is a central characteristic of the collaborative process.



  • work with -not against

  • mutual goals

  • solution focused

  • full disclosure

participates in the Collaborative process?

You and your spouse each choose a collaborative attorney. Thereafter, a neutral financial professional is added to the team. In most cases, a mental health professional or facilitator is included  - ensuring a truly healthy divorce!

Choosing a collaborative attorney is an important decision. Collaborative attorneys view the other attorney not as an adversary but as a partner in a problem-solving process. You and your attorney will work together to understand and focus on what is important for you and your family. Your attorney will guide you through the Collaborative process in a structured and supportive way and will help you develop your settlement so that your important needs and interests are met. 

One Neutral Financial Professional: Adding a financial neutral to the process is beneficial in presenting the information in an understandable, non-biased format. For the first time in their financial lives, you may be able to look at your finances in a non-threatening environment.

One Divorce Coach/Therapist: A mental health professional will join your team to develop and reinforce effective communication skills amongst other things. Our divorce coaches have specialized training in Collaborative Divorce, interdisciplinary teams and understanding based negotiations. Coaches add expertise by way of insight, guidance and tangible strategies to support the effectiveness of the Collaborative process.

The team meets to identify the goals and desired outcomes for each couple and sets the agenda and time-line for issue resolution.  The parties are encouraged to decide for themselves what is best without letting a stranger decide their fate, which is truly what happens in courtroom dissolutions.

The guiding principles of Collaborative Divorce are that the clients and Collaborative professionals agree at the outset that the case will be settled by themselves, without decisions imposed by a judge or other third-party decision maker. If the entire case cannot be settled, the lawyers and other professionals must withdraw, and, if requested, the lawyers will assist the participants in making the transition to traditional representation. In the unusual case that moves from the Collaborative forum, it is common that some of the disputes have been resolved and a written agreement has been signed. This limits the questions to be decided by a judge or other third-party decision maker and may lay the groundwork for a more effective way of clients working together and resolving their differences in the future. These outcomes are not based on an analysis limited to what the law requires (as in what a court would do) but instead encourages the parties to decide for themselves

In the end, the parties know they have treated each other fairly and respectfully, without further wounding and emotional bloodshed, which is a healthy prescription for all affected!

is Collaborative Divorce?


  • No court

  • Confidential 

  • Amicable 

  • No drama

  • Low stress 



  • easy on your mental health

  • a mindful approach

  • fast process


should you "think collaborative?"

And they lived happily every after - separately. 

Collaborative Divorce is often known as "the peaceful divorce" and is a process for resolving family law disputes such as in divorce and domestic partnership where two parties work with a team of professionals to craft their own agreements. Clients work together in a respectful way. Clients and professionals gather the information needed to reach an agreement. The goal is a win/win situation for all participants. Decisions are made by the clients without the going to court or involving a judge or other third-party decision maker. The collaborative process offers a thoroughly creative alternative. It allows you to manage your own affairs under the guidance of highly experienced collaborative professionals, whose common goal is to facilitate compromise and agreement. Your attorney handles the legal aspects. The financial professional handles the financial aspects. Your mental health coach helps in dealing with the emotional struggles that go hand-in-hand with divorce instead of further wounds and emotional bloodshed


  • Seasoned professionals

  • Trained in collaborative law

  • Personal approach

  • Experienced in family law 


divorce smart?

Divorce Smart has hand selected their professional and seasoned Collaborative Team based on experience and expertise.  We are here to handle even the most complex financial issues and/or child related issues.

Divorce usually involves three factors:  law, financial issues and emotions.

Your collaborative divorce team has these three factors covered. Your team will provide an orderly and respectful framework for dispute resolution on an item by item basis. Everything that happens in the Collaborative Process is privileged from disclosure.

We have personally witnessed the toll that protracted divorce litigation has on families, and desire to help our clients achieve their unique goals through a more peaceful and amicable process. As society is more and more accepting of the importance of mental health, families can benefit from an approach that incorporates those needs into the divorce process. 

Contact us today to learn more! 

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