Jean Chatzky
Jean talks with Sue Hansen, president of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, about a new, rapidly growing practice called collaborative divorce. Unlike a traditional divorce, both parties commit to staying out of court from the outset, taking the threat of litigation off the table. The couple works with trained professionals to resolve disputes respectfully.

Benefits of Collaborative Divorce

  • Cost: "The comparison in cost is dramatic if collaborative divorce is compared to people who are in and out of court in contested litigation," Hansen says. However, she adds that divorcées should choose the process based on quality, not because it is a less expensive measure.
  • Speed: The pace of collaborative divorce is determined by the couple—if they choose to reach a resolution quickly, they can. If they'd rather not rush through the process, they have that option as well.
  • Low-stress environment: The couple sits down with their lawyers to talk through each aspect of the divorce. Mental health experts are brought in, and if there are children involved, co-parenting techniques are developed. "A divorce may end the marriage, but it doesn't end the family," says Hansen.