What is a Collaborative Divorce?

A “Collaborative Divorce” is a process option for divorcing couples, based on the principles of the “Collaborative Practice” philosophy. The process requires the commitment of the couple to resolve all disputes related to their divorce without litigation or the threat of litigation. No documents are filed in court until a full agreement is reached.

The process covers all areas in family law, including division of finances and assets, spousal and child support, custody, and parenting time. The Oregon Collaborative Divorce practice is particularly attractive to couples looking to restructure the family relationship, rather than simply terminate that relationship through the court process. By agreeing not to get on the witness stand and tear one another down, individuals in the Collaborative Divorce process set themselves up for more constructive post-divorce co-parenting and communication. Even when minor children are not involved, couples appreciate a process that allows them to leave their marriage with the same dignity and respect with which they entered their marriage. The Collaborative Divorce process also allows for more flexibility and creativity as compared to the courtroom experience. For example, as it relates to children’s expenses, family law judges are limited to ordering a parent to pay standard child support (for food, clothing, shelter) and uninsured medical expenses. The Oregon court has no authority to order a parent to pay for college, activity expenses, cell phones, auto insurance, etc. However, in the Collaborative Divorce process, parents can set aside what the court might do and instead focus on their children and how to best address their specific needs.

The Collaborative Divorce process also provides more privacy than traditional litigation, allowing couples to work out their disagreements in a safe and confidential environment rather than in a public courtroom.

Contact one of our skilled collaborative divorce lawyers today to schedule a consultation!

by Jill Brittle