Collaborative Law Institute of Minnesota > Getting Unmarried Part II: What is Collaborative Divorce?

Posted on August 9, 2013

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From Mike Miller, CFP:

What I really liked about collaborative divorce was the concept of both spouses and each of their attorneys signing what is called a Participation Agreement, committing that court or the threat of court is not an option to be considered in a collaborative divorce. While everyone has the right to court processes even when we would sign an agreement stating otherwise, it was to be understood that if the spouses later elected to discontinue the collaborative divorce and go to court, the two attorneys would have to discontinue representing them, requiring both spouses to find new attorneys to represent them in court. The attorneys who represented the spouses in the collaborative process would attempt to utilize the most economical and orderly means available to transfer each spouse’s information to the new attorneys.

I learned the basic tenants of a collaborative divorce beyond the pledge not to go to court include:

  • Both spouses and attorneys would participate in good faith to reach agreements that considered the interests, concerns and needs of both spouses and their children, if any.
    Each spouse would be required to fully disclose to each other all information that would be relevant to their circumstances. This would include all financial information being disclosed to a financial neutral.
    Everyone in a collaborative divorce is to mutually respect each other and communicate in a manner that conveys respect. Communicating with respect greatly assists in the effort to reach agreements everyone can live with.
    Emphasizes the needs of children. This is critical, in my opinion, for divorcing couples with children.
    The couple would retain control over the outcomes decided versus having someone else, knowing little about the family, making decisions for them.
  • Read more at Collaborative Law Institute of Minnesota.

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