Collaborative divorce is a concept that, if it works, will save both parties in a divorce a lot of money by not going to court. It is a process that helps couples seeking a divorce to sit down and work with their lawyers, and/or other professionals, and strike an agreement that works for both of them and any children involved. The idea is to avoid contested litigation over unresolved issues.
Participation in this process is voluntary, with both parties signing a participation agreement that takes their lawyer out of the running to represent them at a later date for any other family matters. The collaboration of both parties may cover many issues surrounding the dissolution of the marriage, and how they wish to end the marriage as civilly as possible, without going to court and being deadlocked in conflict.
Collaborative divorce was created by Stuart Webb, a family lawyer in Minnesota. His goal was to try to avoid traditional litigation, as is was not that helpful for families involved in the divorce process. There are over 22,000 lawyers that use this process worldwide, and roughly 46 states have collaborative attorneys. In many areas, this process has become the one used first for resolving disputes.