March 27, 2024

The ABC's of Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorce is an alternative dispute resolution model to traditional litigation. It is an interest-based approach that has the couple work in a team setting. The objective, coming to a resolution that works for both spouses. 


Often when families begin the separation process they tend to have three main thoughts

  1. The first thought: how painful the family law process will be.
  2. The second thought: how costly the litigation process will be. 
  3. The third thought: how long the litigation process will take. 

As a family law practitioner, it is important to illustrate alternative options for families. The Collaborative model is a practical option that has been very successful for many separating families. 

The Collaborative model is composed of a team of specialized lawyers, financial advisors, divorce coaches, and mental health professionals. Each member on the team has undergone specialized training in the collaborative model, making them qualified to guide families through the process. The intention of the collaborative approach is to promote communication and cooperation, which is often difficult to achieve in a traditional family law case. 


There are a plethora of benefits for choosing the Collaborative model in a family law matter. As mentioned earlier in this blog, going through a separation can be stressful, and often the unknowns of the litigation process can increase stress. Because of the nature of the litigation process, the costs can increase for separating families. This cost is normally on top of a families day-to-day expenses. In many cases, the costs of litigation are $40,000-$100,000 more than a collaborative family matter. The unpredictability of litigation is a factor to consider; decision-makers will not be as familiar with your individual family needs, and as a result, may make final decisions that you have little control over. In the Collaborative model, each spouse has a say in the end result. The benefits of the collaborative model outweigh the disadvantages. 


Why is collaboration important in a family law matter? We have already discussed some of the benefits, but we would be careless to overlook a crucial element of this model. Open communication and transparency often lack in traditional litigation cases. As a result, it often leads to distrust, increasing stress and costs. In a Collaborative model, it promotes openness with a strong emphasis on dialogue. Collaborating to come to a resolution can promote healthy communication between separating spouses and/or navigation of the next steps in implementing resolution. Not to mention, it can provide a strong foundation for co-parenting  

The approach that families select in coming to resolution in their family law matters is an important one to consider. The Collaborative model is arguably one of the best alternatives to litigation. 


Read more from Kitsilano Family Law’s blog — The Brief.

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