Anyone who has been through a divorce will tell you it can be a gut-wrenching experience for you and any children involved and can harm the post-divorce relationship of the couple.

A New Approach to a Challenging Process

Even with the best of intentions, communication can be challenging and conflict tends to escalate over even minor issues – especially when navigating financial and legal points. Communication often breaks down to the point that all contact has to be handled through adversarial attorneys and the fees just keep climbing.

Come Together


Minimize the Trauma

What is collaborative divorce?

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.

How can Watermark Financial help?

Each situation is different, but overall the collaborative process allows couples to negotiate to find the financial solutions that work best for their unique situation.

  • Help couples come up with their own proposals to divide assets.
  • Partner as a neutral party with the collaborative divorce attorney and the divorcing couple to provide expertise on the financial side of things.
  • Work with couples to examine their financial proposals to each other.
  • Prepare long and short-term financial projections that show how each party will fare under various scenarios.
  • Provide education regarding finances, tax returns, financial statements, cost basis, COBRA/health insurance and debt prioritizing.
  • Assist both parties in developing budgets that are workable and acceptable.
  • When a couple agrees that one party should stay in the marital home until the children have graduated from high school or college, we can then reach an agreement to share major house expenses until the house is sold.
  • Set aside a percentage of future monies earned per some formula to fund college.
  • Allocate monies for expenses related to children.

What are the benefits?

On the financial side, this collaborative approach can help reduce damage and expenses involved with the divorce process itself, and can help couples find the fairest and best possible long-term financial solutions in a non-adversarial way. Collaborative divorce helps people feel assured that their needs are heard and addressed. Difficult but realistic decisions can be made in a respectful, civilized environment. Typically, interactions between the couple during and after the divorce are less stressful. If you have children, a real benefit is being able to watch your children at sporting events, walk on the field together at senior recognition, attend graduations, weddings etc. without your children worrying about having to take sides or fearing a disaster will spoil the event.

Would you like more information on collaborative divorce?