Traditional court divorce is like your morning rush hour traffic: it’s bumper-to-bumper, stop-and-go, horns honking, people cutting each other off for no good reason (just to get one car ahead!), news helicopters circling so that they can describe every little mishap by the side of the road, mostly to the lucky folks NOT trapped in their commutes, and rubberneckers gawking and slowing everyone else who needs to get where they’re going. Driving to work takes a lot longer than it should and makes everyone angry.
And, every once in a while, someone gets road rage and maybe pulls out a gun, sometimes even killing one of the other drivers stuck in the same traffic jam.
Traditional divorce is like that. Check the stats: I will bet that more lawyers, judges, and spouses are killed in or because of divorce court than in criminal law cases, or, indeed, in any other area of law.
Collaborative divorce is the kinder, gentler approach to terminating a relationship. It works more like a monorail system – on a planned schedule, with the engineer (a mental health adviser) guiding the train smoothly along the rails, ensuring that no one suffers from the unmitigated stress that courtroom divorce can cause (a version of road rage), with an occasional stop to pick up or drop off passengers, until it reaches its final destination. Along the way, the passengers are able to accomplish a great deal; because they are not required to focus on driving their vehicles, they are able to address more important issues, learning to problem solve and to work through communication difficulties with their soon-to-be-ex spouses, accomplishing much that would otherwise fall by the side of the road.
Collaborative divorce is the next generation of divorce, putting the dissolution of marriage where it belongs, not in the courtroom but in the meeting room.