Who controls the process

Degree of Adversity



Use of Outside Experts

Involvement of Lawyers


Facilitation of Communication

Voluntary v. Mandatory

Lines of Communication

Court Involvement

Moving On

Collaborative Approach

You and your spouse control the process and make the final decisions.

You and your spouse pledge mutual respect and openness.

Costs are manageable, usually less expensive than litigation. A team model is financially efficient in the use of experts.

You and your spouse create the timetable and throughout the process, you will have much more scheduling flexibility.

Jointly retained specialists provide information and guidance thereby helping you and your spouse develop informed, mutually beneficial solutions.

Your lawyers work toward a mutually created settlement.

The process, discussions and negotiation details are kept private.

A team of specialists educate and assist you and your spouse on how to effectively communicate.

Completely voluntary.

You and your spouse communicate directly with each other with the assistance of members of your team.

Outside of court.

The focus is to resolve issues constructively in order to “get them behind you” and to allow you and your spouse to move on.

Court Litigation

A judge controls the process and makes the final decisions for you.

The court process is based on an adversarial system which often involves attacking and tearing down the other party.

Costs are unpredictable and can escalate quickly. The court hearings and delays can all consume time and resources.

A judge sets the timetable with crowded court dockets and frequent delays.

Each party hires his/her own experts to support differing positions, which creates a “battle of the experts” and which almost always results in a greater expense to both parties.

Your lawyers fight to win, but someone has to “lose.”

The court process is open to the public and hearings often involve the testimony of friends and neighbors in open court.

There is no process that is designed to facilitate communication.

Mandatory, if no agreement can be reached

Most communications are indirect through attorneys. Communications with a judge are formal and in open court.


Past issues are often rehashed and the negativity of the divorce is frequently relived with a backward focus instead of a forward one.