About Us

What Is Collaborative Law?

In the Collaborative Law process, the parties work with a team of professionals to avoid the arbitrary and uncertain outcomes of court litigation and to achieve a settlement that best meets the specific needs of both parties and their family as a whole. Focusing on settlement, the Collaborative Law process offers a more healthy and effective forum for the resolution issues arising from separation and divorce. The goals of the Collaborative Law process are to help the couple define and implement a settlement that best meets the needs of their family, and to help the parties learn new skills for more effective communication, conflict resolution and post-divorce co-parenting.

In order to accomplish these goals, professionals are available to work together as a team. A Collaborative Team can be any combination of professionals that the parties choose to work with to resolve their issues. The attorneys can help the clients decide which professionals are best suited to their needs. The professionals typically come from three disciplines: legal, mental health and financial.


    • I want to avoid court and costly litigation
    • I want full and open disclosure so I can make informed decisions
    • I want a problem-solving approach with experts to support and guide me
    • I want to be able to keep control of the process
    • I want to focus on meeting the needs of my children
    • I want a process that is respectful
    • I want a process that is present and future-oriented
    • I want a process that addresses the needs, interests, concerns and goals of all members of my family
    • I want to get along with my co-parent for the sake of our children
    • I want to reach an agreement that feels fair and is durable

There is no process that guarantees a particular outcome. By pledging to reach agreement out of court – a cornerstone of the Collaborative Law process – clients are able to have honest and transparent exchanges of information. In face-to-face discussions, with the guidance of Collaboratively trained attorneys and other professionals, options are developed for each issue needing resolution.  Mutually acceptable, durable agreements can be achieved in an atmosphere of fairness and will serve as a strong foundation for co-parenting

Types of Collaborative Law Professionals:

Collaborative Attorney

A Collaborative Attorney is a licensed attorney who has been trained in the Collaborative Law process and has developed the skills to encourage the couple explore options through a creative approach to problem solving. Through the collaborative process each party’s collaborative attorney encourages the couple to avoid adversarial techniques or tactics and to complete the divorce with a spirit of cooperation.

Divorce Coach

A Collaborative Divorce Coach is a licensed mental health professional who has experience in issues related to separation and divorce. The Divorce Coach has training and expertise in family dynamics, communication skills, and training in the Collaborative Law process, and often assists with the development of parenting plans.

Financial Neutral

The Collaborative Financial Neutral is an impartial financial expert who offers a safe, unbiased environment for partners to provide financial information, speak openly about their financial fears, concerns and ultimate goals, and to help them explore financial settlement options.

Child Specialist

The Child Specialist is a licensed mental health professional with extensive training and experience in family systems, child development and the needs of children during and after divorce. The Child Specialist can meet with the children and the parents in an effort to focus on the children’s specific needs and concerns.

Other Allied Professionals

(ex: mortgage broker, realtor, trusts and estates lawyer): Sometimes there is a need to explore the sale of a house, the refinance of a mortgage, or resources for a special needs child. Allied professionals can provide the expertise and information needed to explore the options being considered.


How is a Collaborative Law divorce different from a traditional divorce?

The Collaborative process allows you and your partner, with the support of your Collaborative Law professionals, to reach agreements together on the financial and parenting issues rather than turning those decisions over to the courts.

Will I get the information that I need to make decisions? I’m concerned that my partner may hide information from me.
You and your partner, as well as your attorneys, sign a contract called a Collaborative Participation Agreement which requires complete transparency and the disclosure of information material to the issues for resolution. The Collaborative attorneys are required to make sure that you and your partner adhere to this principle or the process must terminate.
What is the difference between a Collaborative Law process and mediation?
Mediation does not require the attorneys to be present and the process is facilitated by a neutral party. Quite often, people need more support with them at the settlement table. In a Collaborative process, a mediator typically is not used. Instead, each party has an attorney present at the table but everyone is working toward a mutually agreeable outcome in a cooperative way. The parties may also benefit from using a financial neutral and/or divorce coaches who assist the attorneys and the parties as needed to meet the financial and emotional needs of the parties and their children.
What is the cost of a Collaborative Law process?
The cost varies depending on the specific issues in your divorce. Each Collaborative professional has his or her own fee schedule, and that is a question to discuss as you interview the professionals assisting you. You can control the costs by being organized when gathering information needed for your process, and by being prepared for meetings. You are able to bypass the expense of formal court discovery and share information voluntarily in a streamlined approach.
What if my partner has already filed in court? Can we still use the Collaborative Law process?
Yes. Attorneys for the parties can ask the court to have the case placed on inactive status while you and your partner participate in the Collaborative process.
How do I contact a Collaborative professional?
Follow the links below to learn how to contact a Collaborative professional. You can start with talking to an attorney, divorce coach, or financial neutral. All are able to talk with you about how the Collaborative process works and what your next steps could be.