The Collaborative Divorce Attorney’s Role in the Divorce Process
The mission of the Collaborative Attorney is to work with the other
collaborative professionals in assisting the divorcing couple to achieve a resolution
of their case that is fair to them and their children.
Utilizing dispute resolution techniques and drawing on his or her own experience in
the legal system, the Collaborative attorney works with the client in identifying the
clients goals and mapping out a strategy to satisfy those goals in a non adversarial
process. Instead of being a hired gun with a take-no-prisoners attitude, the
collaborative attorney is mindful that the needs of both spouses and the children must
be addressed if the collaboration is to yield meaningful and lasting results.
Unlike the litigation process, which promotes aggressive maneuvers and taking fixed
positions on important issues, the collaborative attorney is committed to resolving the
family law case in a peaceful manner. This means that the collaborative attorney will
not do many of the things that are common in litigated cases, such as:
- Seeking emergency court orders with little or no advance notice to the other
- Taking the deposition of the other spouse
- Serving subpoenas on witnesses, doctors, teachers or employers
- Sending threatening letters to the other spouse or that spouse’s
On the other hand, there are certain documents that the Collaborative Attorney
prepares, some of which are filed with the Court. These include the following:
- Summons and Petition.
- The Collaborative Stipulation, which confirms that the case is going to be
processed as a collaboration.
- Declarations of Disclosure
- Interim agreements and agreed court orders.
- The final Marital Settlement Agreement or Judgment of Dissolution of
The collaborative attorney knows that the best results for both spouses can be obtained
only if there negotiations are conducted in good faith, with respect for the dignity of
both spouses and concern for the welfare of their children. Instead of providing
“aggressive” or “zealous” legal representation, the
collaborative attorney provides the client with effective representation that considers
not only the client’s immediate needs, but the long-term needs of the entire