A team of professionals
you to reach a
- a better way.
A unique and flexible approach
Why Collaborative is Different
Collaborative divorce is uniquely reliant on three core principles: a written pledge not to fight in court, withdrawal of the team if either party chooses to go to court, and open and truthful communication. Work with a professional team of experts that advocate for you and your family.
- You want a civilized, respectful resolution of the issues in your situation.
- You want education, guidance and legal advice without the risk of escalated court confrontation
What is Collaborative Divorce?
In simple terms, the collaborative family law process is involves two clients and two attorneys, bound by a formal agreement, who use a collaborative approach to avoid submitting contested issues to the court. It is a flexible process, relying on professionals from other disciplines as you need them. This team of people works together toward one goal: maximizing the benefit to your family.
Collaborative is a unique approach founded on three core principles: a written pledge not to fight in court, withdrawal of the hired professionals if either party chooses to fight in court, and open communication between the parties.
The collaborative approach works with a team mindset. You and the other party, along with your attorneys, use the skills of mental health and financial specialists to maximize positive outcomes for the family. In addition to divorce, you can use the collaborative process in other family law matters such as paternity, annulment, legal separation, pre-marital agreements, post-nuptial agreements, non-marital relationships and same-sex relationships. The issues addressed in collaborative cases are the same ones addressed in traditional litigation cases: child custody and placement, property valuation and division, child support, maintenance (alimony), taxes, and insurance.
Collaborative Professionals Listen
Your Attorney and You
Your Collaborative attorney is your advocate in the process, but they also work
with your family's team to secure a reasonable, family-centric solution unique to your situation.
Learn More About How Your Attorney Works For You.
Contact us with any question you might have about the Collaborative Process.
Please note we cannot provide you with legal advice - please use the Find A Professional link to find help.
Your personal information is never retained for any purpose.
2nd Saturday Wisconsin is a free monthly webinar about divorce in Wisconsin, with
an emphasis on the Collaborative Process. The session begins at 10 AM Central time.
See the Events Section below to register for the session you wish to attend.
Collaborative Team Expertise At a Glance
Below is a brief snapshot of the role of each Collaborative Professional that may be a part of YOUR team. Every case is unique, with issues and considerations that require special expertise to make the process efficient and productive.
The Divorce Coach has experience working with adults and families facing the challenges of major life transitions. The Coach brings skills in the areas of communication, conflict resolution, co-parenting, and stress or emotional management and helps each client individually, and in meetings with the spouse and his/her coach, by addressing the ‘human side’ of divorce.
You both may have a coach or in some cases a single coach may work with both of you.
In collaborative divorce, process, the lawyer is not neutral. Your attorney serves as your advocate throughout process. Your collaborative divorce lawyer acts as a resource, an educator, an advocate for you as well as a protector of the collaborative divorce process.
Both you and your partner have your own attorney. Your Collaborative Attorney has obtained specialized training beyond that which is required of all attorneys.
The Child Specialist has expertise in the areas of family therapy, child development, child and adolescent therapy, families in life transitions, co-parent counseling and child custody and placement issues. They have also on occasion worked with adult children as well.
The Collaborative Child Specialist does not function in the role of a therapist for your family. The Child Specialist remains neutral throughout the Collaborative Process to assure that each family member is free to speak. Children are often silent participants in divorce, and Collaborative recognizes that children are profoundly impacted by their parents’ divorce.
The Collaborative Divorce Process recognizes divorce is more than a legal matter. A key component of the team is the Financial Specialist, commonly referred to as the Financial Neutral.
This specialist provides the team, and the collaborative process, with an unbiased assessment of the financial situation faced by the family and offers analysis about specific issues that may arise during the problem solving process.
The financial specialist can be a certified financial planner,(CFP), certified public accountant, (CPA), certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA), or other financial professional with the right training and experience to handle the unique financial challenges presented in divorce and family law cases.
In some cases your Collaborative Team may include someone with facilitation skills that guides the process, works with you and the entire team and keeps the process moving and organized.
The Facilitator is usually a divorce coach that assumes this role and becomes your case manager.
Many other divorce options waste time and resources through inefficient communications, back and forth contacts, and an unfocused process. Using a Facilitator may be a good way to handle your collaborative and is an item for you and your attorneys/team members to consider.
Affiliate members are trained in the basic of the Collaborative Process and can assist you and your team with the sale of the home, investment strategies, mortgage and other financing and a host of other support services.
Collaborative Foundation of Wisconsin
The Collaborative Foundation of Wisconsin may be able to provide your family with low cost or no cost collaborative services. Programs are available to Wisconsin families with limited financial resources. Income thresholds do apply. Visit the Foundation at www.collabwis.org for complete details.
The collaborative process enabled my former wife and me to amicably work together through our divorce proceeds, and put the best interests of our daughter ahead of our personal differences.RichardMarried 10 years and father of one child
Divorce is difficult, but I never regretted choosing the collaborative process. Guided by my attorney and mental health coach, I was able to make my own decisions about my future and asset division at a pace that was comfortable for me.CarrieMarried 25 years, mother of 2