Collaborative Divorce v. Litigation

While I have written extensively about collaborative divorce and compared it to all the divorce process options, like mediation, negotiation, and litigation, for me there is no better way to really get it than to see the differences laid out side by side.  So here are ten points, point by point, comparing collaborative divorce to litigation.

Looks like they are polar opposites, doesn’t it?  What do you think?

Collaborative Divorce:

  1. Communication is open, honest, and shared.
  2. There is no blaming and no fault finding.
  3. The process is future focused – what do we want for ourselves and our children down the road?
  4. The attitude is assertive.
  5. Clients are empowered to solve problems with the other client.
  6. They attack the problems.
  7. They create choices for mutual gain.
  8. They create solutions acceptable to both.
  9. There is dignity.
  10. A continuing relationship is important to both.


  1. Communication is guarded, secretive, deceptive and strategic.
  2. There is blaming and fault finding.
  3. The process is past focused – who did what to whom?
  4. The attitude is aggressive and defensive rather than assertive.
  5. The lawyers are responsible for solving problems and for solutions.
  6. The clients attack each other rather than the problems.
  7. They consider only choices which will advance their own position.
  8. They win big or lose big.
  9. There are battle scars.
  10. Alienation occurs.

Have you experienced either a collaborative divorce or a litigated divorce?  If so, do these ten points ring true for your experience?

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