Collaborative Divorce

What is Collaborative Divorce in Colorado?

0:05

I I mean collaborative is a world view

0:07

but it is also a different way of

0:11

proceeding in divorce and in Colorado as

0:13

in Texas and in other states uh it’s

0:16

embodied in our statute so in a

0:18

collaborative divorce you have two

0:20

parties who are willing to undertake

0:22

their divorce come to all their

0:24

agreements before anything is filed to

0:26

the court it requires two

0:28

collaboratively trained attorneys and

0:30

parties who sign an agreement that says

0:32

they will share all information

0:33

collaboratively and they will work with

0:35

joint experts and that they will meet

0:38

together in a series of meetings where

0:40

they will address the issues in their

0:42

divorce usually the meetings being

0:44

broken out into things like what are we

0:46

going to do with the children what are

0:47

we going to do with the house how are we

0:49

going to Value the business how are we

0:50

going to allocate the assets how are we

0:52

going to allocate the debts so parties

0:54

sign an agreement called a collaborative

0:56

agreement ahead of time and they agree

0:58

that they’re going to proceed with this

0:59

process and settle their case and then

1:02

file everything with the court it takes

1:04

takes the pressure off the parties of

1:06

being on the litigation path it has a

1:09

tendency to decrease conflict because we

1:11

provide support for the parties within

1:13

the context of collaborative divorce to

1:16

deal with emotional issues as they arise

1:18

and it has the benefit of ensuring that

1:21

hopefully people will be able to

1:22

co-parent together in the future because

1:24

they haven’t sort of undertaken this

1:27

high conflict litigation path that can

1:30

really disrupt families

1:32

difficulties with the collaborative

1:33

process I think are that if you sign on

1:36

to the collaborative agreement you’re

1:38

agreeing that if one of you decides you

1:41

can’t finish the collaborative divorce

1:43

and you’re just going to go ahead and

1:44

file the case

1:45

then the case automatically drops out of

1:48

collaborative and both collaborative

1:50

attorneys have to be fired and the

1:52

parties will hire at that point new

1:54

litigation Council to move their case

1:56

forward in addition any joint experts

1:59

that were hired during the collaborative

2:00

process uh also have to be fired unless

2:04

both parties agree that they can use

2:05

that work product

2:07

this is I think tough for people to

2:10

comprehend but it does help keep people

2:13

in the collaborative process because

2:15

nobody wants to start their divorce over

2:17

pay new attorneys to get up to speed so

2:20

it makes it feel like everybody has some

2:22

skin in the game and it has a tendency

2:24

to ensure that everybody pushes to get

2:27

the collaborative divorce done it also

2:29

ensures that you don’t have counsel in

2:31

the collaborative process who are really

2:34

strategizing and creating their

2:36

litigation case during the collaborative

2:39

process it’s a very very helpful way to

2:44

run a divorce for certain people some

2:46

people have extremely complex issues

2:48

that judges aren’t going to have the

2:50

time on their docket to be able to

2:51

address some people really have a focus

2:54

on ensuring that they can maintain a

2:56

good relationship going forward and the

2:58

team is really focused on ensuring that

3:00

that is the case so there are times when

3:03

collaborative divorce is really the best

3:04

resolution because litigation can spin

3:07

out of control and it can damage people

From Kristi’s interview for the Masters of Family Law series on ReelLawyers.com.

When we enter into a marriage, we rarely think about how the marriage will end. However, once we know that the marriage is ending, we have a choice about how to proceed. When we proceed with a litigated divorce, we are choosing a process that is geared towards conflict, it is not focused on allowing parties to participate in the resolution process. Furthermore, litigated divorce can destroy parent’s ability to co-parent effectively going forward.

What is Collaborative Divorce?

Collaborative divorce is an alternative to litigated divorce. The Collaborative process recognizes that we, as individuals and as co-parents, are likely better suited to making decisions about what is in the best interests of our family than a judge will be. In the Collaborative divorce model, parties commit to participating in the Collaborative process and to settling their case outside of court. The parties work with a team of trained attorneys, and to the extent necessary, neutrals, to assist the parties in addressing financial and parenting issues. The process allows parties to address issues together respectfully, with the unique needs of the parties and their children recognized as being of utmost importance in the process. Through the Collaborative process, parties are able to have their individual and mutual interests and goals recognized, and solutions are tailored to addressing those goals.

The attorneys at Wells Family Law are experienced in collaboration as well as in litigation, because we believe that a respectful process and amicable settlement is appropriate for families. Ask the Collaboratively-trained attorneys at Wells Family Law whether Collaborative Divorce may be a good solution for your family.