The collaborative method is an alternative means of resolution dispute, similar to mediation in that it is a process to resolve conflicts without employing adversarial procedures. It can be described as a form of mediation but rather than have just one mediator , each party is represented by his/her own legal counsel who has been trained in mediation principles and also specifically trained in collaborative law utilizing cooperation rather than litigation.
As with mediation, the purpose of using the collaborative process, besides the inherent dignity in the system, is to preserve a civil working relationship between the parties to facilitate the mental and physical well being of the children, the parties , their extended family members and personal relationships.
The collaborative process provides each party with the support of his/her own dedicated attorney, yet provides a venue for open discussion and dialogue using a team approach to achieve a settlement that works for the family.
The collaborative method also provides the parties with an integrative approach with neutral mental health practitioners to facilitate communication, child specialists to focus on the children and financial professionals to aid with the valuation and budgetary issues.