Collaborative divorce is a form of alternative dispute resolution that is growing in popularity in Massachusetts because it allows individuals in the divorce process to become the architects of their own futures, and do so outside of the courtroom in a safe environment where the conflicts and tensions between spouses can be properly managed.
Attorneys on both sides agree to work with their clients towards resolving the dispute(s). If a settlement is not reached, the attorneys will not continue representing their clients in court. Attorneys engaged in the collaborative process advocate for their clients, but both use cooperative techniques as the spouses negotiate a settlement.
Collaborative divorces usually utilize facilitators or coaches, who are licensed mental health professionals whomanages communication and conflict between the spouses through the negotiation process. If there are complex financial issues involved, a collaborative divorce process may also include a financial neutral to help educate the spouses and help make projections and analysis. If parents are unable to agree on how a parenting plan should be designed, they may choose to include a child specialist to provide advice and assistance. All three serve in a neutral capacity, hired by both spouses.
Instead of going to court, the spouses, their respective attorneys, and the involved neutral(s) will have a series of meetings where issues for settlement are discussed. These meetings are very structured, but in a way that encourages communication to assist in identifying interests and goals, in the hopes of reaching a final settlement.
If you have any questions about collaborative divorce, or your options for divorce in Massachusetts, call 781 484-1066 or email the attorneys at Finn & Eaton, P.C. in Saugus to schedule your free one-hour consultation.