What is the Collaborative Process?

Collaborative practice is a better alternative for separating or divorcing couples to find an amicable resolution without going to court. Professionals are trained to help create an environment of open communication and keep a child and family-focused approach to solutions. Learn more about how collaborative practice can help you resolve issues arising out of separation.

Benefits of Collaborative Practice


Collaborative practice helps you arrive at a custom-tailored solution that’s best for you, your spouse, and your family. It provides an alternative to the litigious and adversarial court process, providing a private setting to have difficult conversations. 


Our professionally trained team can help you and your partner honestly and openly communicate. This will help reach a mutually acceptable path forward in a respectful environment. 

Cost-Effective and

Collaborative practice is designed to be a cost-effective and efficient process. Legal, financial, and family professionals contribute their specialized expertise. This ensures the work is done by the most qualified person at the lowest rate. 

Steps in the Collaborative Process

#1. Reach Out To Get Started

The first step is to reach out and begin a discussion with any of our legal, financial or family collaboratively trained professionals. Navigate through our member directory and reach out to arrange a meeting. The first consultation will include an open explanation of the collaborative process, how it fits into your unique situation, and how you can begin the process. 

#2. Sign a Participation Agreement​

The next step is for both parties to sign a participation agreement. This ensures you and your spouse make a commitment to be fully transparent, and communicate in a respectful way as you work towards reaching a settlement. Signing this ensures you avoid stressful court appearances, accusations, and keep 100% of your information private by avoiding litigation. If the parties are unable to reach a resolution through the collaborative process both lawyers must resign from the case, keeping both parties committed to moving forward.

#3. Identify and Discuss Issues

Both spouses then sit down and start sharing their primary goals for the collaborative process. Issues are identified, highlighted, and analyzed. The team helps to determine how best to have a discussion around the issues, and work towards an efficient resolution for each one. These issues are handled in a respectful atmosphere, where both parties win. 

#4. Create a Parenting Plan

Similar discussions as above will be had with a trained family professional in order to discuss issues related to children. This normally includes deciding on a parenting schedule that works for both spouses. Any conclusions made around the parenting plan will be part of your final agreed conclusion. 

#5. Negotiation and Settlement

At this point, all that is left is to discuss, analyze, and eventually agree on options for settlement. Our team of professionals are trained to help find creative solutions that properly satisfy both spouses priorities and goals. When the last issue has been finalized, a separation agreement will be prepared that reflects all the discussed items, and is signed by both parties making it an enforceable contract. A better conclusion is reached and you have set yourself up for a better situation into the future. 

The professionals that can help you through your family dispute.

Legal Professionals

Your trusted advisor throughout the legal process, making sure you’re fully informed and able to confidently make decisions as you reach an agreement.

Browse our Legal Professionals.

Financial Professionals

Ensuring you reach a settlement that makes sense financially. Assisting with planning, accounting, corporation, and pension analysis.

Browse our Finance Professionals.

Family Professionals

Providing family and emotional support, particularly around parenting and children’s needs. Contributing mediation, therapy, and coaching.

Browse our Family Professionals.

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York Collaborative members are happy to offer virtual consultations by phone or video. Offices are open by appointment and COVID protocols are observed. Find a professional near you. Learn More Here →