|Collaborative Divorce||Litigated Divorce|
|Voluntary Agreement||You are not forced to accept an agreement. Nothing is finalized until you and your spouse agree that it is an acceptable solution.||Judge imposes mandatory judgment if you cannot agree.|
|Child-centered||Children’s needs can be addressed sensitively and personally. Minimizes potential trauma that can sometimes last for generations.|
|Constructive||Focus on finding creative solutions and problem solving. Mutual respect and openness reduces conflict and negative emotions.||Focus on winning and losing in court, replaying the past problems of the marriage as enemies in court.|
|Control||You control the agenda, negotiations, pace, process and final decisions.
|Judge is in control.
|Privacy||Finances, family issues and negotiations are kept private and confidential. Problems and assets are kept private.||Divorce file, including finances and allegations made by either spouse, are open to the public. This can sometimes result in media attention.|
|Conflict||Cooperative.||You and your spouse are enemies in court.|
|Co-Parenting||Helps salvage critical long-term relationship between parents so the children’s interests are protected.||Can destroy family relationships by ending up emotionally bruised after a divorce trial in court.|
|Lasting Impact||Agreements are much more likely to hold up over time because you have invested energy and ideas into understanding each other’s and your children’s needs together.
Effective problem-solving means fewer long-term arguments over who pays for what, especially when children are involved.
|Post-divorce litigation frequently adds to costs.|
|Cost||You manage the costs. Team uses neutral experts that are typically less expensive than attorneys to handle specialized topics.||Costs are unpredictable and can escalate rapidly due to filing documents and motions, contentious claims, court hearings, and post-judgment litigation.|
|Outcome||Mutually created, win-win settlement.||Lawyers fight to win, but someone loses.|
|Timetable||You control the timetable. Six months is typical duration.||Judge sets the timetable, with frequent delays due to crowded courtroom dockets. Trial can take months or years.|
|Outside Experts||Jointly retained specialists are neutral and serve both parties.||You and your spouse each hire separate experts, doubling the cost.|
|Communication||Face-to-face meetings foster open communication to safely negotiate settlement that focuses on most important goals.||Back and forth phone calls and emails between litigating attorneys ratchet up emotions and make settlement more difficult.|
|Court||Since they have pledged to settle the case out of court, team members gather information and solve problems.||Attorneys often waste time and money making threats to intimidate or gain advantage, contradicting or even belittling, each other in trial.|
|Customized||Customized property, financial support and child-related solutions fit your and your children’s personalized goals.
Create solutions often not possible in litigation, such as addressing college education costs.
|One size fits all according to the inflexible provisions of the law.
Arbitrary and uncertain outcomes of court litigation.
|Transparent||Clients agree to share assets, debts, necessary information and documents voluntarily and in a timely fashion. Needs are communicated and solutions are explored.||May involve expensive legal procedures to obtain information if your spouse is hiding documents or creating unnecessary delays.|