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Date, Capital District: An alternative method of divorce and couple conflict resolution in family law practice, that stresses the interests of the family as a whole, and promotes cooperation among the parties rather than confrontation in the courtroom is now available in the Capital District.  Attorneys, therapists and financial planners in Saratoga, Schenectady, Rensselaer, and Albany counties have formed the Collaborative Divorce Association of the Capital District to offer separating and divorcing couples a means to work together to negotiate the outcome of  their divorces outside of the adversarial atmosphere of court.

Collaborative law is a relatively new form of dispute resolution, pioneered in the late 1980’s in Minneapolis, and now used extensively nationwide and internationally.  It is an alternative dispute resolution process primarily used with couples who believe that it is in the best interest of all involved to resolve matters privately while minimizing conflict and bitterness and promoting the current and future well-being of the family.

In collaborative practice, the couple and their attorneys pledge at the outset to attempt to work things out through consultation and open communication. All parties are committed to treat each other with respect and dignity.  Lawyers working collaboratively with mental health practitioners who serve as facilitators/divorce coaches assist the couple as they work through their disputes based on their values and interests.  Child specialists and financial specialists are also available to assist the process when needed.  All pledge in advance that they will not go to court or use the information shared in collaborative discussions in litigation.

ABOUT THE COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE ASSOCIATION OF THE CAPITAL DISTRICT:  The Association’s members are attorneys, mental health professionals and Certified Financial Planners™ familiar with the unique problems facing separating and divorcing couples.  All members have completed special training in the collaborative process and are members of the International Association of Collaborative Professionals.  The association meets monthly to provide educational and professional support to its members.

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