Collaborative Divorce (a)

About Collaborative Divorce

The collaborative approach to divorce began in the early 1990’s with an out-of-the-box idea from a group of family law attorneys. They decided there had to be a better way to obtain a divorce, to avoid litigation and minimize the scars divorce leaves on a couple and their family. Thus, the collaborative practice movement was born.

Founding attorneys Stu Webb and Ron Ousky first put the practice of Collaborative Law into use in Minneapolis, Minnesota. By way of mutual agreement, the divorcing couple’s attorneys avoided litigating the matter and resolved their conflicts outside of the courtroom. By the mid-1990’s, Collaborative Divorce, which differs from Collaborative Law, developed in Arizona when lawyers began working with a team of professionals to guide people through the divorce process.

The team approach to Collaborative Divorce is based on the premise that the best professional for each facet of the divorce is serving the client’s needs. Attorneys handle legal issues for their clients; financial issues are dealt with by a neutral financial professional; and emotional/communication issues are facilitated by divorce coaches. The essential element of a Collaborative Divorce is the commitment by all of the team professionals to withdraw from a case if either or both of the divorcing couple wishes to resort to litigation.

Collaborative Divorce is now practiced widely in this country, and has caught on internationally, especially in Canada and England, and will continue to gain popularity as an alternative to litigated divorces.