Unlike mediation and arbitration, the lawyers in a collaborative divorce are an active participants in the give-and-take of negotiation between two spouses who are working in good faith toward a settlement.
Unlike a divorce lawyer in a litigated action, the divorce lawyer in a collaborative action “acts as a resource, an educator, an advocate for his or her client and protector of the collaborative divorce process.”
Both the husband’s attorney and the wife’s attorney work to anticipate conflict and manage the process so that the clients know the legal rights and the obligations that each faces.
In 1990 a Minneapolis lawyer named Stuart Webb pioneered collaborative divorce as a way of preventing court battles that make husband, wife and children casualties.
Collaborative divorce aims at “keeping the peace between husband and wife after the ordeal. Its focus is to see that the children aren’t affected by it in a bad way for the remainder of their lives. The lawyers are there to help you keep that perspective, because sometimes it can be lost on a bad day.”