Collaborative Divorce Your Divorce. Your Choices.

Collaborative Divorce Law in California

Highly-Trained Mediators in San DIego, CA

Most people have a misconception of divorce, believing that it is almost always resolved in court before a judge. This is normally only true for contested divorces, or divorces that require a court to make orders or enforce an agreement. In actuality, many divorces can be resolved in meeting rooms and around tables rather than before a bench.

If you're on good terms with your spouse, despite seeking an end to your marriage, then litigation may not be for you. For many spouses, it is far too slow (thanks to the glut of cases requiring family court judges) and far too costly for what they need. That is why Family Law San Diego offers an effective alternative: the collaborative divorce.

What Is Collaborative Divorce?

At its most basic, collaborative divorce is a meeting between both spouses and their "team," which includes their attorneys and may include a financial planner, a child psychologist, and other relevant specialists. This team meets together in order to craft a divorce agreement that both spouses must agree to.

This approach takes into account each spouse's total well-being: mental health and emotional state, financial future, child custody/visitation, and all other areas of a divorce. Rather than pitting spouses against each other, it allows them to work together and create terms that they both can live with.

At any moment, either spouse has the ability to walk away from the process. However, collaborative divorces are designed such that both spouses will have to find new lawyers if they resort to litigation. That provides a little extra motivation to craft a mutually-beneficial divorce arrangement.

The Benefits of Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorce puts the fate of each spouse in their own hands. Litigation often has unpredictable outcomes that are out of your hands by the end. If the judge hands down a ruling that you find unfair, you will still have to abide by it - that is the nature of court decisions. In contrast, collaborative agreements are entirely under the control of the spouses. You can determine your family's future down to the last letter.

Here are some of the benefits of collaborative divorce:

A Collaborative Divorce Is More Cost-Effective Than Battling it out in Court

In California, the average divorce costs around $17,500. For contested divorces in which spouses adamantly disagree on the terms of the divorce and engage in a drawn-out divorce battle, or in situations where couples share children, that cost can easily double or triple.

Needless to say, for many spouses, divorce is a significant investment. But is it an investment you should make? For most divorcees, the tens of thousands spent on divorce would be more helpful going toward housing or a similar expense.

Like mediation, collaborative divorce is often a far less expensive alternative to an in-court divorce. Collaborative divorces don't involve in-court hearings like a traditional contested divorce, which drastically cuts down on the costs.

Additionally, since collaborative divorce is about helping two spouses negotiate equitable terms for the dissolution of their marriage, the process is often shorter than an in-court divorce. Attorneys also typically charge less to represent divorcees in a collaborative divorce than an in-court divorce, since collaborative divorces are less combative and require less of a time investment from the lawyer. All of these factors greatly reduce the cost of a collaborative divorce, especially compared to a traditional divorce in court.

Collaborative Divorce Is Less Stressful than an in-Court Divorce

Because the focus of a collaborative divorce is on helping the parties come to a mutually beneficial divorce arrangement, it's inherently less stressful (and combative) than an in-court divorce, where divorcees are often at each other's throats.

If you want to maintain a positive relationship with your soon-to-be-ex moving past your marriage, collaborative divorce can help you achieve that goal.

More importantly, engaging in a collaborative divorce makes it easier to stay mentally and physically healthy during your divorce by reducing the emotional turmoil of the process. That's important because it helps you lay the best foundation for your life moving past the divorce. Collaborative divorce can give you the fresh start you need.

Collaborative Divorce Is more Legally Secure than Mediation

Mediation is another popular form of ADR, and it's a fantastic option for many couples. However, in mediation, the mediator cannot give legal advice. To obtain counsel during mediation, you must hire your own mediation attorney.

Because both parties have a dedicated attorney during a collaborative divorce—and those attorneys are the individuals facilitating the compromise—collaborative divorce can be more legally secure or protective than mediation. That makes it a great tool for individuals who want to remain amicable with their soon-to-be-ex while simultaneously securing their own best interests.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Collaborative Divorce in California?

It is a positive step to choose a collaborative divorce in California in the hope of reaching an amicable and mutually beneficial agreement. To navigate the legal complexities and protect your interests, it is highly advisable to have a lawyer on hand during the collaborative process.

1. Legal Expertise: Collaborative divorce involves legal complexities, and having a lawyer ensures that you fully understand your rights and responsibilities. We will provide valuable legal guidance and help you make informed decisions throughout the process.

2. Advocacy and Negotiation: Our San Diego collaborative divorce attorney serves as your advocate, ensuring that your voice is heard and your concerns are addressed during negotiations. We can help you achieve a fair and equitable settlement in matters such as property division, spousal support, and child custody.

3. Document Review: Our experienced lawyer will review and prepare the necessary legal documents, ensuring that all agreements are accurately documented and comply with California divorce laws.

4. Mediation Assistance: In collaborative divorce, mediation is often a key component. Having a lawyer by your side during mediation sessions provides a layer of support and legal insight, contributing to productive discussions.

5. Conflict Resolution: If conflicts arise during the collaborative process, your attorney can assist in resolving disputes and finding compromises, helping to maintain the collaborative spirit.

While collaborative divorce promotes cooperation, having an experienced San Diego collaborative divorce lawyer ensures that your legal rights are protected and that the final agreement aligns with your best interests. 

We Can Help You Make the Right Choice

As one of the premier family law firms in San Diego, we are always looking for ways to achieve the best results for the lowest burden. Collaborative divorce is one of the ways we achieve that.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation! Call our collaborative divorce lawyers at (619) 577-4900 today to understand your options and to equip yourself with legal counsel.


  • Comprehensive

    As skilled litigators, mediators, and negotiators, our firm is prepared to handle any type of family law case.

  • Collaborative

    Working together, we pull from our unique backgrounds and resources to achieve the best results possible.

  • Innovative

    We create tailor-made solutions to fit the unique needs of every client and help them move forward favorably.

  • Dedicated

    We are committed to serving a diverse clientele, all the while protecting the interests and fulfilling the needs of clients.

Our team believes in forming close relationships with our clients and making sure they have a voice. Every client we work with is frequently updated about the status of their case in our efforts to do everything we can to help them reach the outcomes they deserve.
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