Something everyone should agree on: respect.
It is simply a fact that about half of all marriages end in divorce, and countless non-marital relationships fail, too. But the emotional devastation that often accompanies the loss of a relationship doesn't have to be a fact as well. That is the thinking behind Collaborative Practice.
Long-sought by divorcing individuals and other concerned professionals who assist them, Collaborative Practice is the alternative to “divorce as usual”. It is designed to minimize the hurt, the loss of self-esteem, the anger and alienation that occur too frequently with divorce.
The Collaborative philosophy is built on a belief in human dignity and respect. Individuals may cease being partners, but they don't cease being worthy human beings. Every part of Collaborative Practice—from open communications to solutions-based negotiation to out-of-court settlement—is intended to foster respect. When respect is given and received, self-esteem is likely to be preserved, making discussions more productive and an agreement more easily reached.
The end of a marriage or relationship is difficult enough. Collaborative Practice believes that the process of divorcing shouldn't add to the pain, but rather help the spouses and children foresee a hopeful future.