The Collaborative Divorce is a valuable variation on the concept of mediation. The main difference with mediation is that each of the partners is supported by their own lawyer, who is also a mediator. The lawyers are also aware of the other partner's interests and make use of their mediation skills. This ensures more balanced discussions and allows better ways to handle differences in knowledge or emotions.
Another important difference with mediation is the fact that collaborative divorce takes a multi-disciplinary approach. Together with their lawyers, clients assemble a team to guide them towards finding a suitable and creative solution. A coach, with a background in psychology, supports the process and the team may be supplemented with other experts such as a child or financial expert.
As with mediation, the process seeks to settle the consequences of the divorce without the courts interceding. The agreements are set down in a divorce covenant. Should there be minor children involved, a parenting plan is also drawn up, with the assistance of the coach. The partners' future and that of their children takes centre stage. As a method, collaborative divorce often provides the best guarantee for a sustainable solution. After all, both partners have been thoroughly informed and supported during the process, allowing them to take properly considered decisions based on sufficient information.