What is a Collaborative Divorce Participation Agreement?

In a collaborative divorce, the divorcing spouses, their respective attorneys, and the other professionals involved all sign a participation agreement. The agreement outlines how the professionals will be paid and everyone agrees up front how the professionals will be paid. This is one advantage to collaborative divorce in that it allows the parties to better control the costs of their family law case, and helps prevent them from escalating out of control. Additionally, the participation agreement also provides that if the divorcing parties are unable to reach a full resolution in the collaborative process and decide to resort to a traditional litigated divorce, they cannot continue working with their collaborative attorneys and must start all over again with a new attorney. This serves as a strong motivator to encourage settlement in the collaborative process.