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While the most common image that comes to mind when the word “divorce” is said is likely impassioned lawyers making the cases of their clients before an impartial judge, this is not the only way to go through the process, even for high-net worth divorce. In fact, high-net worth divorce can end up costing potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars if a trial divorce is truly the only option. However, for ex-couples who are able to work together through the divorce, a collaborative divorce may be possible. According to Forbes Magazine, a collaborative divorce involves both parties and their lawyers coming together in a series of meetings to figure out the divorce details, and leave the courtroom and the judge out of it.

The secret to a collaborative divorce is that it actually has to be collaborative in nature. If the situation between you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse is very acrimonious, it may not be possible to collaborate enough to make this path worthwhile. A collaborative divorce only works if both parties have a general end goal (perhaps the well-being of children if any exist, or even just an equitable divorce where the result is palatable to everybody involved), and can generally agree on most things independently. The lawyers help smooth out any rough patches that come up along the way, and each party will have their own lawyer in a collaborative divorce.

This path is great for individuals who want to get through divorce with as little stress and financial expenditure as possible. However, collaboration only works when all parties truly wish to collaborate: if you or your ex-spouse are out to “get” each other in the divorce, collaboration will not work.