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Litigation Or Collaborative Practice 

I N T E R N A T I O N A L   A C A D E M Y   OF   C O L L A O B R A T I V E   P R O F E S S I O N A L S

     Divorce Collaborative versus Litigation   



Who Controls the Process

You and your spouse control the process and make final decisions

Judge controls process and makes final decisions

Degree of Adversity

You and your spouse pledge mutual respect and openness

Court process is based on an adversarial system


Costs are manageable, usually less expensive than litigation, team model is financially efficient in use of experts

Cost are unpredictable and can escalate rapidly including frequency of post-judgment litigation


You and your spouse create the timetable

Judge sets the timetable; often delays given crowded court calendars

Use of Outside Experts

Jointly retained specialists provide information and guidance helping informed, mutually beneficial solutions

Separate experts are hired to support the litigants’ positions, often at great expense to each

Involvement of Lawyers

Your lawyers work toward a mutually created settlement

Lawyers fight to win but someone loses


The process and discussion or negotiation details are kept private

Dispute becomes a matter of public record and sometimes, media attention

Facilitation of Communication

Team of collaborative practice specialists educate and assist you and your spouse on how to effectively communicate with each other

No process designed to facilitate communication

Voluntary vs. Mandatory


Mandatory if no agreement

Lines of Communication

You and your spouse communicate directly with the assistance of members of your team

You and your spouse negotiate through your lawyers

Court Involvement

Outside court




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Collaborative Practice

Click here to view a video about Collaborative Practice

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Collaborative Practice provides the framework, the tools and the commitment necessary for the positive reconfiguration of families in transition.  The adversarial litigation process tends to create (or escalate) negative emotional and financial consequences not in the best interests of clients, families, and children.  If clients are willing to engage in the work required, Collaborative Practice is a healthy alternative for the resolution of disputes.

Collaborative Practice is a reasonable approach to divorce based on three principles:

›  A pledge not to go to court
›  An honest exchange of information by both spouses
›  A solution that takes into account the highest priorities of both adults and their children