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What is collaborative divorce, and who is it best suited for? Collaborative divorce is a non-adversarial, team approach where parties seek to identify and brainstorm solutions that are acceptable to both spouses, in a supportive environment while prioritizing the needs of the children. Both parties agree to be open and transparent with each other and to treat each other with respect throughout the process. A primary goal is decreasing conflicts while creating fair and equitable agreements. In families with children, this has a further benefit of preserving healthy relationships. You would retain Attorney Eaton to represent you and advocate on your behalf throughout the process, including the team meetings that you will participate in. Attorney Eaton is trained in the collaborative divorce model through the Connecticut Council for Non-Adversarial Divorce.
Once both parties have retained their own attorneys, they collectively determine what other professionals might be needed as part of the team. Most couples benefit from adding a trained divorce coach or a therapist to the team. Couples with complex finances will benefit from the addition of a financial advisor as part of the team to help the parties envision possible options to create their equitable solutions.
The team framework helps couples who have unequal power dynamics in their relationships, making less empowered spouses feel heard and brought into the decision- making process. The collaborative model takes time, a level of commitment, and work on the part of each of the parties and their team as a whole. Collaborative divorce is a preferred method if parties are willing to work cooperatively together and devote the resources, time and effort necessary to achieve a successful outcome.
Unlike mediation and traditional divorce, each of the parties, their attorneys and all other team members sign an agreement that commits each member to the process and prevents either party from engaging in litigation during the collaborative process. If the process breaks down, with the team determining that they cannot reach an agreement, neither party may retain any member of the team including the attorneys. Like mediation, everything remains confidential and none of the professionals involved can reveal anything that transpired as part of the collaborative process. However, the team can always reconvene to complete the process after taking a break. If the team is successful in obtaining a full agreement, the team will prepare the necessary documents and submit them to finalize your divorce. Contact Attorney Eaton to schedule a consultation today.