California couples who are considering ending their marriage and who want to avoid the antagonism and anxiety that can result from litigation may consider a collaborative divorce. In collaborative divorces, a couple with works with one another, along their respective attorneys, to obtain resolutions to divorce legal issues in a manner that focuses on getting results in a positive way. Both parties can agree on settlement terms and never have to step inside of a courtroom.

An attorney who handles collaborative divorces can only assist clients in a divorce setting geared toward collaboration. In situations in which a couple refuses to compromise or listen or has become contentious in such a manner that it is obvious that they are unable to work with one another in a productive way, the collaborative attorneys are required to recuse themselves, and it will be necessary for attorneys who handle conventional divorces to begin representing the divorcing spouses. If a collaborative divorce breaks down to the point that it is necessary for the other set of attorneys, the divorcing parties have to examine their roles in why the collaborative process was not working and whether they have the ability and desire to attempt the collaborative process again.

The process begins when a couple signs a contract that states that each party will give a good faith effort to the process and be fair in their negotiations and interactions. They also promise to be completely open regarding all financial matters, documentation and required paperwork.

A divorce attorney who provides collaborative divorce services may consider the factors of a divorce case and may recommend to clients whether their case may be a good candidate for this particular type of divorce process. The attorney may work to protect the interests and rights of clients during negotiations for settlement terms.