The collaborative divorce process requires both parties to be open, honest and realistic and for each to retain their own collaboratively-trained attorney. You, your attorney, your spouse and their attorney will meet together in what are called “four ways”. You will all sign a contract and agree to openly share all financial documents, children’s ongoing needs, etc. and be totally honest about everything. Additionally, you will agree not to use the traditional court system but to work together to resolve issues in a respectful manner. Often when a couple works in a collaborative environment it becomes apparent they have many shared goals. These may include maintaining the children in the same school district or a private school, planning for college, ensuring each party has an adequate standard of living post-divorce, and appropriate living space for each party within proximity to the children so they have comfortable access to both parents. It is your divorce and together you can come up with solutions that are not court mandated but work for your circumstances. As appropriate, you may seek the services of other experts acting as neutral parties: business valuators, appraisers, mental health professionals and Certified Divorce Financial Analysts.