A lot of fuss was made over Gwyneth Paltrow’s conscious uncoupling comments, most often mistaking her comments to be in support of a “collaborative divorce”. Two parties can be amicable and work together towards a divorce settlement, and two parties can be amicable, work together towards a divorce settlement, and then end up in court. There really is no litmus test for what will work for you, aside from your own attitude going into the process. Some of the most acrimonious couples have made it through a collaborative divorce because their goal was simply to make the process quick and efficient.

A collaborative divorce is one in which parties work with a “team” of mediators and attorneys (usually) to resolve all of the facets and stipulations of the divorce settlement outside of court and without a judge adjudicating. Unlike regular divorces where both parties have their own attorney – each trying to get the best deal for their client, the couple works together for the quickest (cheapest) outcome.

Couples who engage in collaborative divorce come from all walks of life, all types of partnerships, and with or without children – there is no set type of couple that uses this approach. It is a quick and efficient means of resolving the property issues, custody arrangements, and other pending marital issues without the assistance of a judge or the courtroom experience. In many ways it is like a “home birth” versus a hospital one. It is an organic, respect-oriented process where both couples promise to treat the other with respect and integrity and work out all the necessary details. Trust is placed in the collaborative divorce team to create a harmonious, fair outcome.

This type of approach works for people who want a quick divorce, who are willing to work together, who still have trust that the other has their best interests in mind, and are willing to hand over the reins of divorce to collaborative professionals.