Collaborative Divorce or Collaborative Family Law is not so much about the divorce itself being collaborative, but rather how the couple goes about resolving those thorny issues. Most of us understand what an adversarial divorce looks like. The process can be expensive, time-consuming and heartbreakingly toxic. Children are often collateral damage.
Collaborative Divorce is a different approach. It does not mean everyone is happy. Nor does it mean that the spouses agree on everything. It does mean that the spouses agree to work together to resolve their dispute privately, respectfully and collaboratively.
Unlike a personal injury lawsuit where the parties will have no involvement after the case is over, a separating couple may be linked together for years through their children. There may be graduations, weddings and grandchildren in the future. If the divorcing couple can maintain some degree of civility and respect for each other after the divorce, their children are the beneficiaries of that goodwill.
When a family becomes adversarial, the children experience the stress and conflict between their parents. Litigation prolongs the adversarial relationship and the children must live within that conflict. Children are not immune to the trauma of divorce.