Collaborative Divorce Agreement

I. GOALS

We acknowledge  that the process of  collaborative divorce law is the shared belief that it is in the best interests of people involved in the divorce process and their families to avoid litigation.

We adopt this process, which does not rely on a court-imposed resolution, but on an atmosphere of honesty, cooperation, integrity and professionalism dedicated to the future well-being of the family.

Our goal is to minimize the negative economic, social and emotional consequences of protracted litigation on the participants and their families.  We commit ourselves to the collaborative divorce process to resolve our differences justly and equitably.

II. NO COURT OR OTHER INTERVENTION

We commit ourselves to settle our case without court intervention, adversarial techniques or litigation.

We agree to give full, honest and open disclosure of all information to resolve the issues whether requested or not.

We agree to engage in good faith discussions and conferences to settle all issues to address our individual interests and concerns and those of our family.

We agree to require all attorneys, accountants, therapists, appraisers and other consultants retained by us to work in a collaborative effort. 

III. CHILDREN’S ISSUES

We will make every effort to reach amicable solutions that promote our children’s best interests.

We will quickly resolve differences about our children to promote a caring, loving and involved relationship between our children and ourselves.

We agree to comply with the legal requirement to obtain parenting education to help us develop a parenting plan responsive to each child’s individual needs.

We agree not to involve our children in our negotiations.

IV. CAUTIONS

We understand there is no guarantee that the process will be successful in resolving our case.

We understand that the process cannot eliminate concerns about the disharmony, distrust and irreconcilable differences which have led to the decision to divorce.

We understand that we are still expected to assert our respective interests and that our respective attorneys will help us do so.

We understand that while our collaborative attorneys share a commitment to this process they have a professional duty to represent us diligently, and neither is the attorney for the other party.

V. PARTICIPATION WITH INTEGRITY

We will protect the privacy, respect and dignity of all involved.

We will maintain a high standard of integrity and will not take advantage of each other or the miscalculations or inadvertent mistakes of others, but will identify and correct them.

VI. NEGOTIATION IN GOOD FAITH

We understand that the process, even with full and honest disclosure, will involve vigorous good faith negotiation.

Each of us will be reasonable and use our best efforts to create solutions that meet the fundamental needs of the family and will compromise to reach a settlement of all issues.

Although we may discuss the possible outcomes of litigation as factors to consider, we will not use threats of litigation to force settlement. We acknowledge that predictions of litigated outcomes are imprecise and may cover a range of outcomes and alternatives.

VII. TERMINATION OF COLLABORATIVE PROCESS

We understand that our collaborative attorneys will immediately withdraw from the case upon learning that a client refuses to disclose or misrepresents information or acts in a way to undermine the collaborative divorce process or fails to participate in the spirit of the collaborative process.

We understand that our attorneys’ representation is limited to collaborative divorce including filing the complaint, answer and/or cross complaint, and the case management agreement and dealing with related case management issues and completing all documents related to the final judgment and attending the final divorce hearing.

In the event that we or our attorneys engage in adversarial court procedures, formal discovery or otherwise threatens or initiates adversarial action, both attorneys will be disqualified from representing us in court, and the collaborative process shall terminate.

If either attorney has an appearance on file with the court and a disqualifying event occurs, we agree to retain new counsel and/or to file a pro se appearance with the court. If the client fails to take either action, the attorney shall be permitted to withdraw his or her appearance with the court.

In the event that the collaborative divorce process terminates, all consultants will be disqualified as witnesses and their work product will be inadmissible as evidence. Either party may terminate the collaborative process, but the discussion to end the process will occur at a meeting with the other party and the attorneys.

VIII. ATTORNEY’S FEES AND COSTS

We agree that our attorneys and other professionals shall be paid for their services. We agree to make funds available for this purpose and to comply with the terms of our individual retainer agreements.

If experts are needed, we will retain them jointly unless all parties and their attorneys agree otherwise in writing. 

IX. PLEDGE

WE HEREBY PLEDGE TO COMPLY WITH AND TO PROMOTE THE SPIRIT AND WRITTEN WORD OF THIS DOCUMENT.

Signed and Dated by Attorneys and Parties

         Back to Home | Is Collaborative Divorce For You? | Find an Attorney  | Links