Making a commitment to Collaborative Practice

Collaborative Practice is about Settlement:

Over 90% of all Collaborative Practice cases result in a settlement of all issues.

Our professionals often experience even higher rates of settlement.

Collaborative Practice Lawyers commit to being part of the solution not part of the problem. In Collaborative Practice, each spouse retains a Collaborative Lawyer who is focused on settlement every step of the way. The Collaborative Lawyer commits to working exclusively toward settlement and to not participate in any court process for this family. We have done away with back and forth letters between lawyers. Instead, we pick up the phone and call each other, or meet face to face with our clients to talk through issues.

Collaborative Process is about Principled Negotiation:

Collaborative Process uses a tried and true Principled Negotiation Process

  • Step 1 - Gather information (financial and legal)
  • Step 2 - Identify interests (your needs, goals, fears, and concerns)
  • Step 3 - Create options (we brainstorm to generate several settlement choices)
  • Step 4 - Evaluate the options (your lawyer will help you evaluate the options, considering legal entitlements and responsibilities, financial resources, children’s needs and the interests of you and your spouse)
  • Step 5 - Select the best solution and implement (once an agreement is reached the collaborative lawyers will draft a Separation Agreement including all of the terms of the settlement and implement its terms )

Collaborative Process is about Responsible Financial Outcomes:

  • You and your spouse will share all relevant financial information. The decisions you make will be based on full disclosure.
  • Financial planners often form part of the Collaborative Team. They can enhance your decision-making capacity and deliver an unbiased analysis of your financial information. Working with you and the legal team, they can assist to explore and assess the many financial options that may be considered.
  • Accountants and valuators also form part of the team when there are business assets, complex income determinations, tax planning opportunities, or other challenges.

Collaborative Process is about You and Your Family:

  • The process keeps it personal by providing a supportive environment for ‘face to face’ discussions between you and your spouse rather than ‘back and forth’ negotiations and letters between the lawyers.
  • Settlements reached in Collaborative Process are often more creative and tailor-made than those achieved in other dispute resolution processes.

Collaborative Process is about the Children:

  • The process is designed to manage and reduce conflict between parents so that the children are not caught in the middle.
  • Child Specialists and Family Specialists are often involved to help you to improve your communication, set new boundaries with one another, and ensure that Parenting Plans are child focused and suited to the needs and personalities of your children.

Collaborative Process is about Team:

  • Lawyers and clients, along with financial and family professionals when needed, work together in settlement meetings to discuss the issues at hand.
  • Lawyers work as a team when drafting the Separation Agreement.
  • Includes integrated involvement of a child and /or family specialist and/or financial specialist when needed.
  • The professionals on each customized team work together to create a unique and mutually satisfying resolution of all of the parenting, legal and financial issues.

Collaborative Process is about Support and Guidance:

  • Your lawyer and the financial professional will ensure that you have and understand all of the financial and legal information you need to make good decisions.
  • Your lawyer will advocate for you to ensure that the things that are important to you are addressed and resolved in a way that is acceptable to you.

Collaborative Process is about Moving On:

  • You receive the support and guidance you need to resolve the issues arising from your separation and allow you to move on with your life.

Chestnut Collaborative Solutions offers services in Collaborative Practice from a range of professionals that may be necessary to resolve your situation. Other local collaborative professionals can be found at

For more information or to get started, call any one of our professionals. Or contact to arrange  an Early Neutral Process Consultation which will provide you and your partner with an overview and options for the separation process.

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