What are the benefits of a Collaborative Divorce?

What are the benefits of a Collaborative Divorce?

The collaborative family law process offers constructive alternatives to resolving family law disputes related to separation and divorce. It strives to avoid the negative emotional and financial consequences of family law litigation and its impact on the family, by offering the following benefits:


Collaborative family law is a client-centred approach, as the parties are very active in making decisions about what their future is going to look like. The focus is on interests rather than positions, and the collaborative team works together to find solutions that meet the needs and goals of both parties. The results are often more satisfactory as they reflect what is important to both parties. This means that the results of negotiation are also challenged less frequently.


In collaborative family law, the parties have significant control over both the process and the outcome. This is especially true when compared to litigation where the process is rigid, there are often significant delays and the final decision is made by a judge. In a collaborative divorce or separation, the clients are very involved in making decisions about the timing, speed, and nature of the process, as well as reaching a settlement that works for them.


The separating or divorcing couple benefits from a multidisciplinary team that helps navigate legal, financial, emotional, and parenting challenges. In addition to legal counsel, each spouse has the option to receive emotional support from a divorce coach—a mental health professional trained to manage the stress, conflict, and transitions associated with divorce. A neutral financial specialist is also available to assist with tasks such as business valuation, pension advice, financial planning, and tax strategies.

Open and Transparent

In the collaborative divorce process, the separating couple commits to engaging in honest and respectful communication, to providing full and frank disclosure of financial and other relevant information, and to negotiate in good faith. This allows the separating or divorcing couple, and their family lawyers, to work together in a team and collaborate in a more open and trusting manner.


The collaborative divorce process is, in most cases, significantly less expensive than family law litigation. This is because information is exchanged more seamlessly as the parties have committed to providing full and frank disclosure. While adding professionals to the team might seem like an additional expense, these professionals can make the process more streamlined. For example, joint financial specialists can provide valuations of assets and incomes rather than the divorce lawyers fighting over these issues in court.


Family law litigation often escalates conflict, fosters animosity, and has a devastating impact on children. Research tells us that it is the level of parental conflict, as opposed to the divorce itself, which causes significant negative consequences for children. High conflict can cause negative psychological, social and academic difficulties for children, and even impact brain development.

Collaborative family law is a child-focused process that fosters open and respectful communication. Spouses can be supported by a neutral psychologist divorce coach, or their own individual divorce coaches, who can help them to improve communication, assist in developing parenting plans, and foster effective co-parenting. A child specialist can also be retained to give children a voice in the process and help develop strategies that meet their needs.

Holistic and Creative

Collaborative divorce offers a holistic approach, addressing not only the legal aspects but also the financial, social, and emotional transitions for the spouses and any children involved. Unlike family court, the collaborative divorce process encourages creative and customized solutions. These solutions are not confined to legal issues and often reflect non-legal considerations such as emotional, financial, and child-related matters. The process encourages the collaborative team to develop creative arrangements, tailored to suit the unique needs of the family.

Confidential and Private

Collaborative family law is a private and confidential process. The information and documents exchanged in the process are protected by the confidentiality terms of a participation agreement and cannot be used in divorce court (with limited exceptions). In contrast, most information disclosed during family law litigation can be used in court and is public.