The typical horrors of litigating a Divorce are well documented: the process is
expensive, time consuming, stressful (to the point of being traumatic for some people),
and basically puts yours and your children's fate in the hands of a stranger -- a.k.a. the
judge. In light of this, the general advice from family lawyers and even judges is that
"going to court" should be the last resort for resolving a Divorce.
Instead, many of them point to Collaborative Divorce as an alternative.
Collaborative Divorce -- which goes by a few different names, including Collaborative
Practice and Collaborative Family Law -- is a dispute resolution process that is designed
to lead to a relatively quick, less-expensive, stress-free, and amicable Divorce
How Collaborative Divorce Works
To start with, both spouses must agree to Collaborative Divorce; if one spouse
refuses to participate for any reason, there's no process and the matter must be litigated
or (potentially) resolved through some other means, such as mediation or negotiation.
Provided that both spouses agree to pursue Collaborative Divorce, the general process
is as follows:
- Each spouse hires their own family lawyer, who is certified to provide
Collaborative Divorce services.
- The family lawyers are not "retained" in the sense that they are empowered to
represent their clients in court. They are hired as advisors.
- Both spouses agree not to "walk away" from the collaborative process
and go to court; once the process has begun, both spouses must stick it out until a
resolution is reached.
- Together with their family lawyers, spouses meet with other Divorce professionals who
contribute to the resolution process. These professionals can include a Certified Divorce
Financial Analyst (CDFA), a child care specialist, and a mental health professional.
- Ultimately, both spouses decide the fairness and appropriateness of all issues on an
- Once a resolution is reached, it is presented to a family court judge who verifies
whether it is appropriate and legal. If so, is it approved. If not, the parties are sent
back to hammer out issues and details.
When Collaborative Divorce works -- and it generally does work when both spouses
are focused on a resolution and not to "do battle" with each other -- it can be
immensely beneficial both financially and emotionally. It also can help significantly
reduce stress and uncertainty for any children involved, which is always a top priority.
Giving you Sound Financial Advice during Your Collaborative Divorce
At the Forensic Accounting Offices of Cathleen Collinsworth, Cathleen Collinsworth is
certified to provide Collaborative Divorce Financial Services. She is a neutral financial
specialist who works with the collaborative team to help you successfully travel down the
path of Collaborative Divorce -- and away from the horrors of litigation.
Additionally, Cathleen is a Master Analyst in Financial Forensics (MAFF™) specializing in Litigation, and a
qualified state and federal Expert Witness who practices forensic accounting.
For more information, contact (or have your family lawyer contact) Cathleen to have her
assist you in your swift, cost-effective and civilized Collaborative Divorce.