The word “divorce” brings to mind some unpleasant thoughts and feelings: fighting, custody battles, sadness, money issues, spite, and pain. A relationship is ending, and things can get messy. Many people who have lived through a divorce will attest that there is a lot of negativity and anger surrounding sensitive issues like money, the division of property, and who gets the kids when. The fighting comes with the territory.

Now, more people are opting to cut out the fighting part of divorce as much as possible by choosing a collaborative divorce. Collaborative law allows couples to work as a team, rather than against each other, to resolve the divorce quickly and without actually going to court. Generally, a divorce “team” made up of lawyers, child specialists, and accountants will all work together for the common good of both divorcing partners. The goal is to keep communication respectful and to the point. A divorce can be completed quickly, rather than dragging on in court for years.

In some cases, the collaborative divorce doesn’t work, and couples end up in court. In this situation, both attorneys must withdraw from the case when it goes to court. But for couples who are able to divorce under collaborative law, the results are generally positive and the divorce experience is less dreadful. Relationships may be left more intact. Collaborative divorces are often less expensive. Of course, both parties have to want to make a collaborative divorce work. If one partner is reluctant or unwilling to negotiate, a collaborative divorce is not going to work, no matter how badly the other partner wants it to.