What is the difference between Litigation and Collaborative Divorce?
What is the difference between Mediation and Collaborative Divorce?
Mediation is controlled by one person (typically an attorney, sometimes a therapist) trained to
help you prepare the decree you will submit to court. A mediator does not offer legal advice nor
represent either party. In Collaborative, you have your own counsel advising you on legal matters.
How much will a Collaborative Divorce cost?
In general, your Collaborative Divorce will cost more than Mediation but much less than Litigation. The actual costs will vary according to the complexity of your case. Costs are kept lower when you engage in the process with respect and willingness to work together to come to decisions about your future.
What if it breaks down and we can’t agree?
We call this an impasse. Both of you, and your attorneys, have signed a Participation Agreement
that states specifically that if the process breaks down, you can no longer be represented by your
respective Collaborative Attorney. You would have to retain new counsel. This ensures that all energy
during the Collaborative process is focused on settling matters out of court. The Coach Facilitator has
expertise to guide through impasse and it is often an opportunity to become more thoughtful in your
understanding of what the other person’s interests are. The statistics have shown that 90% of
Collaborative cases successfully resolve and that these agreements are more enduring because they were
more thoughtful.
Why doesn’t everyone use Collaboration?
Collaborative divorce does not work for everyone. Therefore the Coach will see the couple together prior to signing the Participation Agreement. It is during this time that a Coach will help prepare the couple for undertaking the Collaborative process and ascertain if there are certain concerns that would indicate the Collaborative process would not be productive. These concerns could be that someone feels ‘controlled’ by the other. Or that there is a lack of openness regarding finances (the Collaborative process expects ‘transparency’ in regard to all finances). Couples are asked to bring their “best selves” to the process and work together with the Team to make all divorce decisions.
What is the “Team”?
The Team will consist of your Attorney, your spouse’s Attorney, the Coach Facilitator Neutral and often a Financial Neutral. We provide the “safe container” to explore all your concerns to make thoughtful and wise decisions. The two Neutrals are there for both of you. You have legal representation and will have privileged conversations with your Attorney. You will have information from your Team members to then feel confident in reaching decisions. If there are minor children, the Coach will meet separately to help you develop a Parenting Plan.
How long will this take?
Again, it will vary based on complexity. With Collaborative, you are in charge of the timetable with your Collaborative Team. The more a couple completes their ‘homework’ the faster this will resolve. The more a couple can work respectfully and communicate well, it will go faster. Cases on average can go anywhere from 3 months to 1 year.
Do you have a list of attorneys?

Yes, I have worked successfully with most Collaboratively trained attorneys in New Hampshire
and several in Massachusetts. I am happy to provide you with a referral.