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What Is Collaborative Process?

An alternative process to a civil divorce

The pain of breaking up a relationship - and a family - is like no other. Traditional divorce can increase this pain, leaving bitterness that may last for years. 

The Collaborative Process is an effective alternative to traditional adversarial divorce. With Collaborative Divorce, you and your partner agree from the start that you will:

  • Not go to court, or even threaten to go to court 

  • Communicate with honesty and respect

  • Make a sincere effort to understand each other's needs and concerns

  • Promptly disclose all relevant information 

  • Work together towards an agreement that's in everyone's best interests

Collaborative Divorce gives you a positive way forward. It is a proven process for moving you and your partner past conflict to resolution.

Even if there's a lot of anger between you and you've tried other ways to reach a resolution (such as court or mediation), the Collaborative Process can help you reach an agreement.

Collaborative Divorce gives you the legal, financial and emotional support to make sound decisions and move on with your life.

The Collaborative Process can save you time, heartache and money

In adversarial divorce, your lawyer negotiates with your partner's lawyer to try and get you the best deal. Working against each other is stressful, and you can waste a lot of time (and money) fighting. 

You can also end up with a win-lose outcome. And in too many adversarial divorce cases, nobody really wins.

In Collaborative Divorce, you each have your own Family Lawyers helping you sort out your needs, just as in traditional divorce. But instead of working against each other, your lawyers meet together with the two of you to create a settlement that's right for both of you.

The cost of a Collaborative Family Law case relates directly to how quickly you and your spouse reach an agreement. Collaborative Divorce saves you time and money by being more efficient, with everyone working towards the same goal.

Another strength of the Collaborative Process is the support you can get from professionals skilled in the emotional and financial aspects of separation.

At first glance, you might think Collaborative Divorce drives up the cost of separation by involving these other professionals. In fact, the opposite is true.

Divorce Coaches cost less per hour than lawyers, and they can help you move past conflicts that might otherwise keep you stuck for months or even years. They can teach you skills for more effective communication and techniques for lowering your stress.

Financial Specialists are also less expensive than lawyers. They can help you feel less intimidated by the numbers and avoid the long-term consequences of poor financial decisions.

The Collaborative Process protects children 

Collaborative Divorce really shines when it comes to protecting children from the long-term damage of divorce.

If you share children, you face the challenges of transitioning from a single-family home to two households. Divorce Coaches can help you with this, as well as with creating a co-parenting plan that works for everyone.


The Child Specialist meets with your children, giving them a safe place to talk, independent of either parent. They help you understand what's helping and what's hurting, and they keep your Collaborative Team focused on the best interests of the children.

Collaborative Divorce Vancouver Society welcomes you

We invite you to browse through our website. You'll find lots of general information about how the Collaborative Process works.

To find out about your specific situation, or to get started with the process, 

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