Advantages of Collaborative Divorce


A collaborative divorce is a peaceful divorce solution to an otherwise traditionally court-litigated divorce. This process is an interdisciplinary approach to divorce because of its nature, bringing together a team of professionals to guide and support the couple through the entire thing. By working together, collaborative divorce creates a lasting and strong resolution that you and your spouse create as one for the benefit of your family.

One of the greatest advantages with collaborative divorce is that couples are able to keep decision-making power in their hands, instead of ceding that power to a judge. Couples who cooperate and work through guided communication are able to resolve disputes outside of the court system. Another advantage to the collaborative divorce method is that couples do not go through the process alone. Divorce can feel incredibly isolating at times, but through the collaborative method, couples are able to work with a team of professionals to ensure the best possible conclusion.

A collaborative divorce involves each spouse securing legal representation. Both spouses and their attorneys then enter into an agreement to work together to resolve all of the issues of the divorce, including but not limited to child custody, child support, spousal support, and property division questions. Using this process, your attorney, and other professionals (if needed) can manage the difficult conversations required to work through all legal issues. Collaborative divorce can utilize other professionals, such as financial planners to help deal with the financial aspects, and a divorce coach or mental health professional to assist in reducing stress and improving the productivity of the communication between the couple. Understanding between all sides and communicating each other’s needs is important in this process. Best of all, through collaborative divorce, you can keep the decision-making power in your own hands instead of giving that power to a judge who doesn’t even know you.

When going through a divorce, oftentimes it feels like your lives are spiraling out of control, but the collaborative method gives you a degree of control over the divorce process and the final outcome. After all, you and your spouse know each other better than anyone else and being able to make the top decisions for each other and for your children is extremely important. It is important to understand and remember throughout the proceedings that the collaborative divorce approach does not involve fighting. It is part of the agreement that neither of the spouses, or their collaborative divorce attorneys will not engage in an adversarial process.

Collaborative divorce frequently requires several group meetings to reach a mutually agreeable settlement. Once the terms have been agreed upon, the attorneys will draft a settlement agreement for both parties to sign. The settlement agreement is then signed by the judge and becomes the final judgment of divorce. Hugh O’Donnell has been helping couples gain the benefits of collaborative divorce in Kansas City since 2001, when he introduced the process to Missouri and Kansas, as well as training other attorneys in the process. If you feel collaborative divorce may be right for you, contact Hugh F. O’Donnell Family Law at (816) 533-5152 to schedule a consultation.