Collaborative Divorce Meaning
Collaborative divorce is a type of alternative dispute resolution, used when couples are able to work together to create lasting resolutions to benefit their family’s future without litigating in court. Each spouse retains a lawyer who acts as an advocate for their client’s needs, but does not enter into the adversarial process that is often associated with traditional court litigation. The couple and their lawyers work together through this process.
Each collaborative divorce team may include a divorce coach who helps clients work through parenting and communication issues. The divorce coach is a mental health professional; however, they do not provide therapy or counseling services. The coach does, however, help the parties with communication and emotional issues which may get in the way of sound decision making.
Also included in the collaborative divorce method sometimes is the use of a financial planner. This financial planner is a financial neutral who is responsible for gathering all pertinent financial information from both clients, including any large assets. Having this financial planner gather the financial information streamlines the process and saves money when compared to having both lawyers gather the information at a higher hourly rate.
I know the challenges that people face when it is time to divorce, and know the good that collaboration can do. With more than 40 years of family law experience, I helped introduce the benefits of collaborative divorce to Missouri and the Kansas City Metro area in 2001, and have a passion to help my clients craft divorce agreements that are better for them in both the short and long terms.
Divorce does not need to be a fight. The collaborative divorce method keep the decision-making power in the clients hands, while working together to create the best solutions for your family’s future. Contact me today to schedule a consultation, or call (816) 533-5152 and ask for Hugh O’Donnell to discuss your questions regarding collaborative divorce.