Cape Cod Divorce & Mediation, P.C.
Law Office of Chantal Hayes Rice, Esq.
Your Subtitle text


The Collaborative Law process is a newer form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) where parties hire collaboratively trained attorneys to settle the case with the help of neutral experts.   The parties and collaborative team participate in a series of "team meetings" that are structured by the team coach or attorneys to focus on the particular needs of the parties.  Both parties actively participate in the process unlike in litigation where the attorneys are on the front lines. 

The Collaborative Law process is different than the mediation process.  For example, in mediation the clients typically do not have attorneys with them in the sessions although they may have attorneys to consult with outside mediation sessions.  In the Collaborative Law process, each party selects his or her own attorney that has attended a specialized training process to be approved as a collaborative attorney.  A list of such collaboratively trained attorneys in Massachusetts can be found by visiting 

If you and your spouse choose the Collaborative Law process to settle your divorce, your collaborative attorneys will help you both select neutral experts to assist with the case.  It is important to understand that your attorney, while skilled in legal matters, is probably not a financial or mental health expert which means that you only are receiving legal advice from your attorney.  By its very nature a divorce will have emotional, financial and tax issues that need to be addressed.  If you are expecting your lawyer to advise you on all of these issues then you are not going to have the best overall advice.  In a collaborative divorce, the team may choose to hire a collaboratively trained neutral tax professional, a business evaluation expert or a financial planner.  In a typical litigated divorce, each party hires his or her own expert at their own expense and the case turns into the battle of the experts.  When you choose to collaborate the parties share the cost of the expert who provides neutral information and analysis to the parties so that the team can help the parties make a good decision.  Other experts on the team might include a mental health expert or child specialist to help the parties with the parenting plan. 

In a Collaborative Law process, the collaborative attorneys, parties and neutral experts sign a "Participation Agreement" whereby all parties and attorneys commit to the process of settling the case outside of court.  What truly distinguishes the Collaborative Law process from other ADR methods is that the collaborative attorneys agree to withdraw from the case if the team is unable to settle the case for the parties.  This eliminates the incentive for the attorneys to litigate and instead encourages settlement.  It also gives each party the peace of mind that the opposing attorney will not be using information that was gathered during the team meetings against them in court or will become needlessly aggressive.  Each collaborative attorney is trained to incorporate positive settlement techniques in the process and will listen to each party in an effort to construct an agreement that meets everyone's needs. 

For more information on Collaborative Law please visit the Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council found at
Website Builder