This article first appeared in the Boulder County Business Report, October, 2003.  Reprinted by permission from the author, Boulder Divorce Attorney, Bert Dempsey. Subtitles are mine. Learn more on this website here

Collaborative divorce, when compared to the traditional adversarial process, is less expensive, less stressful, less confrontational, and less time consuming.  The benefits to the divorcing couple and especially to their children can be long-lasting.

You Know Best

Collaborative divorce affirms the reality that it is the couple themselves, not the courts, that are best qualified to make decisions about their future and the future of their children. Through the process, the parties have the opportunity to learn how to develop and maintain civilized and cooperative communication with each other that is crucial in the years of parenting that lay ahead.  An additional aspect is that the process is private.  Only the required final documents are filed with the court.

Collaborative Divorce Meets All Legal Requirements

The collaborative process conforms to all of the legal and procedural requirements of Colorado law. All agreements reached in the process are put in writing and filed with the Court.  Once the court signs the agreement, it becomes an order of the court.

Although it is true that most cases settle without a hearing, there seems to be a qualitative difference between a case that settles on the courthouse steps and one in which cooperative settlement was the goal from the beginning.  In the collaborative process both parties, and both attorneys, are committed from the start to developing a settlement that will satisfy the needs of the parties.  The unity of purpose perhaps has the greatest positive effective on the parties’ future relationships with each other and with their children.

Minimal Court Involvement

An added benefit of the collaborative law is that the entire process is private.  Only the required documentation is sent to Court in the final documents.


Author:  Bert Dempsey has been practicing law for 25 years and has been a mediator since 1996.  He attended the first collaborative law training in Colorado in 2001.  He can be reached at 303-554-1415.