The Collaborative Divorce Process

Going through divorce or separation can make you feel isolated and alone, unsure of where to turn for support and advice. Unlike conventional legal process, Collaborative Practice offers you a team of skilled and compassionate professionals. Each expert in their own fields, the team members help you manage the many aspects of divorce – the legal issues, the emotional turmoil, the concerns for your children and the financial and property questions. With such support you’ll feel more in control of the process itself, and better equipped to begin a new life afterwards.

Agree Not To Go To Court

The key difference between Collaborative practice and conventional divorce is the agreement to avoid the use of litigation and litigation-based strategic negotiation techniques.

Pledge To Collaborate

You and your spouse keep control of the decisions, rather than giving it up to a judge. In order to accomplish that, all of the parties consent in writing to be part of the respectful process.

Open Communication

Even under the best of circumstances, communication can be strained as a relationship ends. Yet keeping the lines of communication open is essential for reaching an agreement.

Your Team

You will have face-to-face meetings with you, your spouse, your respective lawyers and your team as needed.

Select A Collaborative Team

Financial neutrals, mental health coaches & child specialists, and attorneys, all located in the Central Virginia area.

A Collaborative Resolution

Our members are dedicated to resolving family matters without litigation. Using the collaborative Process, our professionals offer the support and guidance necessary to handle disputes with mutual respect.

How It Works

  • The Collaborative process is a comparatively new way for couples to resolve disputes arising from their separation respectfully, without going to court, while working with professionals trained and experienced in the financial, legal and emotional aspects of custody disputes and divorce.
  • The process offers individuals the support, protection, and guidance of their own lawyers, including a team of other professionals – child specialists, financial neutrals, and communication coaches – all working together to help you create a lasting, durable agreement.
  • Clients agree to work toward the resolution of issues in a series of meetings which will include the attorneys and any mental health professionals, financial professionals and/or other experts that they and their attorneys agree to include as part of the process.
    • No Litigation – During the Collaborative Process, no pleading or motion will be prepared or filed with any court. If either client initiates contested legal proceedings against the other, the Collaborative process is immediately terminated. Each client’s Collaborative attorney's representation is limited to the Collaborative process and non-adversarial representation. While each attorney is the advisor of his or her own client and serves as the client’s representative, counselor, and advocate, the clients agree that neither of their attorneys can ever represent either client in a contested court proceeding against the other, or appear as counsel for them with respect to this or any related matter in any court or on any court filings other than a mutually-agreed submission of documents to obtain an uncontested divorce or other mutually-agreed consent order.
    • Full Disclosure – The clients promptly, and continually throughout the process, provide full and informal disclosure of all important information, whether requested or not and whether or not it is directly considered relevant to the process. Important information means any information which either client might need to make an informed decision about each issue that needs to be resolved.
    • Participation with Integrity – Clients work to protect the privacy and dignity of everyone involved in the process and do not take advantage of any mistakes, misunderstandings, inconsistencies or miscalculations of each other or any participant. Such mistakes will be disclosed promptly, making corrections where needed.
  • Many Collaborative divorces result in settlements because of the shared commitments of the parties and the professionals to the Collaborative process. The family’s time and money is not spent asserting positions and fighting over limited resources. Instead, resources are used only to help guide the parties in developing, evaluating and accepting a durable resolution that reflects the parties’ commitment to work together respectfully. By choosing the Collaborative process, you choose a future that reflects your desire for an agreement that works for you, your spouse and your children.