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לאתר בעברית לחצו על הדגל   
  • and The drawings below show how children feel when the divorcing parents go at each other in traditional litigation. That process inflames the fires of anger between the parents with the children often caught in the middle. In the collaborative divorce process, however, the parents can divorce in a manner that leaves the children with the minimum of emotional trauma.


    courtesy of the International Association of Collaborative Practice- IACP

    Staying Focused on the Things that Matter

    Back in the 1980s, an American divorce lawyer named Stu Webb set out to develop a new way of ending the couple relationship while promoting the resilience and benefits of the family unit. In the years since a large cadre of leading professionals worldwide has developed the theory and practice of Collaborative Divorce into an organized system of successful intervention representing a major innovation in the practice of family law. 

    Collaborative Divorce is designed to restructure the relationship and property between husband and wife out of court while sowing the seeds of ongoing constructive engagement. It offers multi-disciplinary support to help the family cope with the consequences and reality of divorce, reduce conflict, and focus on solutions while encouraging healing throughout the divorce process. 

    Collaborative Divorce developed from an understanding of the stress, fears, and uncertainties associated with divorce. It provides emotional support and facilitates communication, while helping the couple make decisions that are best for the children, themselves, and the family finances. 

    A team of Collaborative Professionals made up of legal and mental health experts, and economists guides the parties to a mutually agreeable divorce settlement. Economists on the collaborative team help the couple was assessing their property and planning the two budgets for the two households after the split. Given that the outcome will impact lives long after the divorce is final, the goal is to help both parties make thoughtful and proactive, rather than emotionally reactive decisions.

    Collaborative Attorneys represent each party in negotiating the terms of the divorce, collaborating with the other party's attorney, and the professional team to identify and address the needs of the family unit. The attorneys commit not to represent the parties should the divorce proceedings go to court, ensuring that all are focused on the success of the process.

    A Family Specialist sits on the team (this would be a family therapist or psychologist), whose role is to help the parties communicate more effectively and deal with stress or other emotional issues that may create impasses. Therapists also fulfill critical roles as Child Experts in representing the interests and needs of the children and serving as parenting guides and coordinators.

    Each spouse selects a Collaborative Attorney to serve as their personal legal representative. One Family Specialist serves both the husband and wife to serve as their emotional and communication advisor. A Child Expert is typically engaged to speak with the children and provide neutral analysis and advice. All of these professionals are specially trained in collaborative methods and procedures, enabling the family to benefit from their combined practical insights and intervention.

    The entire team is not required in all cases. Various combinations of professionals may be involved, based on the particular needs of the couple and family. As in all aspects of Collaborative Divorce, the prerogative ultimately belongs to the divorcing couple.

    Couples entering a divorce process are typically overwhelmed with anger and resentment, reducing their ability to make decisions or take actions that serve their long-term interests. In instances of low conflict, drafting a divorce agreement through Mediation is clearly the most efficient route.

    In Mediation, however, each party is required to represent themselves, which often breaks down due to power or knowledge imbalances, intimidation, or emotionality, driving the couple to litigation. In a court "battle", the parties give up control of the process to an attorney (who has an interest in protracted conflict) and control of the result to a judge who applies laws and precedents that rarely optimally suit the needs of a particular family.

    Collaborative Divorce leaves the parties in charge of their own resolution and destiny. The Collaborative Team suggests and provides creative and appropriate options, solutions, and compromises, taking the children's interests into account. The parties decide the terms of their divorce, not the lawyers or judge. When the terms of the agreement are reached, the Collaborative Team translates the parties' decisions into a legally-binding agreement. 

    Collaborative Divorce is substantially less costly than going to court and is unique in being fully focused on the quality of life and ongoing communication of the family members. The professionals function as a single integrated team, sharing information and insights to save time and money and promote the well-being of the couple and children. 

    "Divorcing Peacefully" is based in the Tel Aviv-Sharon region, and includes English speaking therapists and attorneys. Sara Silber is a member of that collaborative-practice group.

    Sara Silber can undertake a few functions on the collaborative team. She can be the Family Specialist on the team or the Child Expert. When not on the team she can serve as the personal therapist for either one of the couple when individual therapy, outside the scope of the collaborative process, is needed.