Collaborative practice is an alternative approach to the traditional model of litigation. The parties, each represented by their own collaboratively trained attorney, commit to settlement without litigation by engaging in structured conferences to reach a settlement, often assisted by a neutral mental health professional and a neutral financial professional. The essential feature of the Collaborative Law model is the contract entered into by each of the parties and each of their lawyers. Should a party leave the collaborative process to engage in a litigated case, neither of the collaborative attorneys may participate in the litigation. This promotes a true commitment to the non-litigation process. A collaborative divorce is respectful, private, and efficient. It is a better process for all the individuals involved and the children especially.
I have been involved with collaborative divorce since 1999 when I participated in the first training in South Florida, given by Stu Webb, a founder of the collaborative divorce process. I was one of the earliest members of the first local association of collaborative lawyers, the Collaborative Divorce Lawyers Association of Palm Beach County. I took another comprehensive two-day training in 2006 and I have also participated in many meetings and conferences on collaborative law practice. Needless to say, I am a true believer that this process is an excellent alternative to litigating family law matters and I highly recommend that all people involved in Family Division cases consider this alternative to litigation.