Collaborative Law and Divorce: What Is the Difference?

Couple Agreeing to Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative Law and Divorce: What Is the Difference?

Collaborative law may be a new term to you, and if that’s the case, you’re in the right place. The following information will help you understand more about the collaborative law process and hopefully help you determine if it’s an option that you would consider.

Collaborative law is sometimes called collaborative divorce. It is a unique process that combines processes in a traditional divorce, as well as processes used primarily in the mediation process to create an environment that protects both parties’ interests, and encourages the parties to work together to come to an agreement. 

With collaborative law, unlike mediation, both spouses will have a lawyer representing them. Both parties sign a participation agreement stating they are going to collaborate to come to a resolution that doesn’t involve litigation or combative, or other destructive tactics. 

The divorce proceeds with multiple meetings where the couple sits down with their lawyers and any other advisors or experts (financial planner, child custody specialist, real estate broker, etc.) to come up with an agreement that works for both. If the couple can’t come to an agreement, they must move on with their divorce outside of the collaborative process and with different lawyers.

What Are the Benefits of Collaborative Divorce?

Collaborative divorce has several benefits:

  • Takes place in a more informal, less stressful environment than a family court room
  • May save time and money
  • Allows both parties to negotiate based on what they want
  • Encourages the exchange of open and honest communication that allows both parties to get a favorable result
  • Involves other experts (financial planner, child custody specialist, etc.) to help you come to the best decision in all areas of your lives
  • Allows you to decide how you’ll handle future disagreements after the divorce is over
  • Keeps the parties in control of their parenting and financial future, during and after the divorce process, or custody action is over. 

In order to go this process, you will need a family law attorney who specializes in collaborative law. You don’t want to hire just any family lawyer to help you with a collaborative divorce because they may not know all options available to you or have experience in the process. When you work with someone who specializes in collaborative law, they know the process from beginning to end and have a lot of experience seeing that it goes smoothly. A collaborative law attorney should also have special training in this process to have the highest probability of reaching an agreement.

LaCoste Law, PLLC specializes in collaborative law and loves offering this option when its right for you. We won’t encourage you to use the process if we don’t think it will be successful. 

Need more information? Set up your free consultation by calling (509)382-800 or by contacting us here.


The information contained in this guide is made available by LaCoste Law, PLLC for informational purposes only and shouldn’t be considered legal advice. The transmission and receipt of this information doesn’t form or constitute an attorney-client relationship. Persons receiving the information contained in this guide should not make decisions or take action without first seeking professional legal counsel. 


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