What Is Collaborative Divorce?

Collaborative Divorce is divorce without the cost, stress and judicial involvement of litigation.  Collaborative divorce can be used by a collaborative divorce lawyer or collaborative divorce attorney in Multnomah County (including Portland), Clackamas County (including Lake Oswego, West Linn, Oregon City), Washington County (including Aloha, Beaverton, Hillsboro) and all other areas in Oregon.

The choices you make now will impact you and your family’s future for many years. Collaborative Divorce as a process and a collaborative divorce lawyer can help. Your divorce has legal, emotional, financial and parenting problems to solve. You will have a full Team of Collaborative Professionals working with you and your spouse to provide you with expertise in each of these areas. Your Team will assist you and your spouse to solve your separation and divorce problems during and after your divorce. You and your spouse will select all of the professional members of your Team at the beginning of your case. You will each choose a Collaborative Lawyer and Divorce Coach, and together you will select a Child Specialist and a neutral Financial Specialist.
The Collaborative Professionals on your Team will counsel, guide, support and educate you as you make decisions about your future. Your children will have a voice through the Child Specialist. You will do all of this without going to court. If you or your spouse decides to go to court, all of your Professionals on your Collaborative Divorce Team will withdraw from your case. You will sign a Collaborative Commitment Agreement, sometimes called a Participation Agreement, to start your Collaborative Divorce.  This Agreement will outline the essential principals of Collaboration.

Advantages of Collaborative Divorce:

You and your spouse will control all of your decisions.
No one else, a lawyer, custody evaluator or judge, will tell you what to do.
You will conserve your emotional and financial resources.
You will use your time and energy more effectively.
You have the potential to have a better co-parenting relationship in the future.
You will have a Professional Team with unique professional knowledge and skills.  Because your divorce has legal, emotional, financial and parenting problems to solve, your Professional Team is a resource in each of these areas.

Many collaborative divorce cases involve using a “Child Specialist.”  Your Child Specialist is a licensed mental health professional with specialized training to help children understand and deal with divorce.

Your Child Specialist will:

Provide a safe place for your children to be heard.
Listen to your children and voice their needs and concerns.
Help you understand what is happening to your children.
Provide you with the information you need to make important parenting decisions.
Your Child Specialist will talk with you and your children about the divorce.  Your Child Specialist will meet with you, the other parent and your Divorce Coaches to share important information you need to create your Parenting Plan.

Many collaborative divorce cases involve using a “Divorce Coach.” A Divorce Coach is also a licensed mental health professional with specialized training in Collaborative Divorce.  Each of you will select your own Divorce Coach.

Your Divorce Coach will help you:

Improve your communication and listening skills.
Develop skills to negotiate.
Develop problem-solving skills.
Manage your feelings.
Create and follow through with your parenting goals.
Create a plan suitable for you and your children.

You will be able to meet with your Divorce Coach as often as you need.  Your Divorce Coach will help you prepare for your meetings with your spouse and with other members of your Collaborative Divorce Team.

Many collaborative divorce cases involve using a “Financial Specialist.” Your Financial Specialist is a qualified financial planner or accountant trained in Collaborative Divorce.  Your Financial Specialist is neutral, and helps both of you.

Your Financial Specialist will:

Understand your current financial situation.
Collect and organize the financial information you need.
Understand your financial choices.
Understand the impact of your decisions for now and the future.

Your Financial Specialist will help you understand all of this information so you can make the best decision possible for your financial future.

Your Collaborative Lawyer is trained to work in a non-adversarial way with you as part of your Collaborative Team.  Each of you will have your own Collaborative Lawyer.

Your Collaborative Lawyer will:

Listen to you and be on your side.
Support and guide you during your Collaborative Divorce.
Offer you legal advice about your rights and obligations.
Help you make informed decisions.
Help you reach and complete your settlement.
Your Collaborative Lawyer will help you prepare for and understand your Collaborative Divorce.  During a series of meetings you will find solutions that work for you and your family.

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