You and your spouse have chosen the collaborative process for your divorce and hired your attorneys. Now what? The first 4-way, or 5-way if you have hired a coach, will get the collaborative process started. 

Generally, you should expect to cover the following items in your first meeting:

  • Review and sign the collaborative participation agreement
  • Share your reasons for choosing collaborative for your divorce
  • Review the collaborative roadmap to understand each stage of the process
  • Discuss dates to obtain valuations, such as an appraisal for the house or business
  • Talk over the cost of collaborative and how it will be paid
  • Agree on neutrals (coach and financial)
  • Schedule the next meeting
  • Set up temporary parenting/cash flow arrangements
  • Put together homework list, such as preparing financial affidavit

You may feel anxious, stressed, or nervous, and that’s all normal. Consider how you would be feeling if you were about to litigate and go to court for the first time. The collaborative approach won’t always be easy, but you will come out the other end better off than litigation.