Sometimes collaborative divorce gets used as a general nickname for divorcing parties coming together to settle out of court, but it’s actually a very specific method of our alternative dispute resolution. Collaborative divorce helps couples move through conflicts in a constructive and problem-solving approach. Attorneys specially trained in collaborative divorce guide clients in amicably negotiating conflicts. A distinct feature of collaborative divorce is a pledge both parties agree in writing to be part of a respectful process, solving problems jointly to preserve the integrity of the family.
They also agree to reach an agreement outside of court. If they don’t comply, let’s say one or both spouses wants to walk away from negotiations, both attorneys are legally obligated to withdraw from representing their clients. This provides greater incentive to stick with the process.
The bottom line is that collaborative divorce is a problem-solving approach, requiring open and honest communication while affording couples increased control over the ultimate outcome.
Bari Zell Weinberger is the owner and managing partner of Weinberger Divorce & Family Law Group in New Jersey. She is Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Law Attorney.