As a Marietta and Atlanta Georgia collaborative divorce lawyer, I often need to explain succinctly the features and benefits of collaborative divorce versus mediation or litigation. The following is a quick, bullet-point summary of those features and benefits:
What is collaborative practice?
Collaborative Practice is a new option for divorcing couples to resolve disputes respectfully
and equitably without going to court.
The goal of collaborative practice is to help divorcing and separating couples to focus on
their most important goals, especially children, throughout the divorce process. The end
result is a more efficient, targeted and productive way to resolve disputes.
What distinguishes collaborative practice from other methods of divorce?
Collaborative Practice promotes respect and keeps spouses in control of the process, not
It addresses each couple’s unique concerns, as opposed to litigation which is driven by the
general rule of law meant to apply to all.
Because clients agree not to go to court, the process is more open and less adversarial. The
goal is to enhance communication throughout the process and lay the foundation for a
healthier relationship after the divorce.
What is the biggest difference between collaborative practice and litigation?*
In collaborative, you and your spouse agree not to go to court. This gives you and your spouse
control of the process and outcome versus litigation, where a judge makes the final decision.
Instead of the win-lose court setting, the entire collaborative team ensures that both spouses
work with each other, not against each other, towards mutually beneficial solutions for
One barrier in litigation is a lack of effective communication between spouses. In the collaborative
process, spouses learn a framework for effectively communicating their concerns
What is the biggest difference between collaborative practice and mediation?*
Both you and your spouse are represented by your attorney throughout the entire process.
the entire collaborative law team is there to help facilitate communication between the
spouses, working towards the best possible solution for all and making sure all issues are
How does it work?
• Utilizes specialists who leverage their areas of expertise to address children’s needs and
the emotional and financial aspects of divorce
• Creates a safe environment for both parties without the threat of court
• Provides a structure for communication that considers each person’s needs
• Shares information that allows good decisions to be made
• Focuses on a creative and respectful approach that helps clients reach a mutually agreeable
Who is Collaborative Practice for?
• People going through a divorce who want a civilized, respectful resolution of the issues
and are willing to focus on solutions rather than on blame or revenge
• People who want to maintain a productive working relationship with their (ex) spouses
• People who will be co-parenting and want to keep children’s interests at the forefront,
i.e. protecting children from the negative impact associated with bitter litigation
• People who want to control decision-making over child-rearing and/or financial
arrangements rather that turning it over to a stranger (judge)
• People who place as much or more value on the relationship that will exist in the
restructured family as on obtaining maximum resources
• People who value privacy.
What are the benefits of Collaborative Practice?
Better for children
• Gives children a voice in the process, alleviating the potential of future trauma that
sometimes persists for generations
• Keeps problems and assets private
• Improves communication between parties
• Keeps control of process with the spouses
• Promotes respect and healthier long-term communications
Focus on the future
• The process is more efficient, productive and targeted because of the unique structure of
the collaborative team
Learning Effective Communication Skills
• Communication skills acquired during collaborative process may have positive applications
If you are considering divorce and especially if you have children together, I urge you to consider a different (and better) way to divorce. Call us at 770-425-6060 and learn how a team of skilled professionals can help manage the many aspects of divorce -- the legal issues, the emotional turmoil, the concerns for the children, and the financial and property questions. It's a process that encourages mutual respect, emphasizes the needs of the children, keeps the control of the process with the individuals, utilizes a problem-solving approach, and identifies and addresses the interests and concerns of all.