Collaborative divorce provides an alternative process for parties seeking an out-of-court agreement. Collaborative divorce promotes agreement and free exchange of information through private negotiations. Each party hires an attorney and all four work together in a cooperative, non-adversarial process. Divorcing couples with a mutual goal of reaching a fair settlement are appropriate for the collaborative process. You may have recently decided this is the route for you — and your spouse agrees; but what exactly does it mean to sign a Collaborative Divorce Participation Agreement?
The Commitment: Signing a Collaborative Divorce Agreement
A Collaborative Divorce Participation Agreement (“PA”) is a written agreement by which both parties commit to work together towards a mutually beneficial outcome. The key element of a Collaborative Divorce Participation Agreement is that both parties agree that they will not ask a court to decide a disputed issue. If anyone does so, both attorneys must withdraw.
In this type of agreement, the parties and attorneys communicate and negotiate directly with one another in structured four-way settlement meetings. The Participation Agreement is a contract made by both parties to voluntarily disclose all financial and other relevant information, and to proceed respectfully and in good faith in settlement negotiations. In order to succeed in Collaborative divorce, both clients must be willing to hear the interests and concerns of the other spouse and be able to keep discussions respectful.
For Collaborative Divorce to work, each party must agree to:
Typical Code of Conduct in the Collaborative Divorce Process
Diane S. Diel practices Family Law including Collaborative Divorce and Mediation in Milwaukee, WI.