Comparing Collaborative & Amicable Divorce
It is not an exaggeration to say that we get asked on a daily basis how Amicable Divorce is different from Collaborative Divorce. So we made a list.
1. The team of professionals, and the process itself, is designed for the parties based on their needs and finances.
2. The choice of professionals is client driven.
3. No professional compromises their confidentiality, or changes anything about their traditional role, so if a case is contested no one has to excuse themselves from the case.
4. Amicable Divorce Network members are vetted prior to membership for being experienced, resolution focused and for engaging in fair billing practices. With collaborative, anyone who takes the training is deemed collaborative.
5. The Amicable Divorce Network limits membership by industry and geography based on area population so an area is not saturated with professionals.
The team of professionals is designed for the parties based on their needs and finances.
In designing the Amicable Divorce Process, one thing we heard in learning about collaborative divorce was that professionals where changing the traditional collaborative process and calling it “collaborative lite” or “quasi-collaborative”. They were doing this because in many circumstances traditional collaborative team members were not needed or could not be afforded. In the Amicable Divorce Process, we have found that often divorcing couples do not meet with an attorney first. Amicable-minded individuals are cautious of attorneys who generally have a reputation for driving up cost and conflict. Therefore, the first team member could be any number of network professionals from a counselor to a realtor which is why our network encompasses all professionals who help clients before, during and after divorce.
Parties seeking an Amicable Divorce should each get their own attorney in the Amicable Divorce Network. Those attorneys then design the process for the parties taking into consideration their unique needs, finances, timelines and situation. Parties may need a small business valuation, an expert in special needs children, or a bankruptcy attorney to assist with their divorce. Every family is different and so each team is different to address the family’s needs. Pursuing an Amicable Divorce itself does not cost anything. The process has been utilized by the University of Georgia Family Law Clinic to assist low income parties with divorce. On the other end of the financial spectrum, we have seen couples with multimillion dollar estates pursuing Amicable Divorce as well. With the streamlined and personalized process, any couple can find what they need in our network professionals.
The choice of professionals is client driven.
The Amicable Divorce Network provides a neutral platform via our website for potential clients to research attorneys and other team members they would like to work with. They can choose professionals they identify with and want on their team. Often with collaborative divorce, professionals are working in a pod of professionals so that if one spouse hires a particular attorney, the other spouse must work with the other attorney in the pod as well as that pod’s financial, mental health and other set professionals. With the Amicable Divorce Network, clients have the choice on choosing who they want to work with from our vetted professionals.
No professional compromises their confidentiality, or changes anything about their traditional role, so if a case is contested no one has to excuse themselves from the case.
With an Amicable Divorce Network case, every professional involved does their job in the same way they would in any other case. No professional compromises confidentiality or changes their role in any way to accomplish a settlement. Because of this, no professional is forced to exit the case in the event it becomes contested. We have found that when you are dealing with reasonable, like-minded professionals who aren’t out to stick it to you or your client, that tensions diminish and everyone can work cooperatively towards the same goal of resolution. We also offer advanced training on being an “amicable advocate” during our Certified Amicable Divorce Professional (CADP) designation training.
Amicable Divorce Network members are vetted prior to membership for being experienced, resolution focused and for engaging in fair billing practices. With collaborative, anyone who takes the training is deemed collaborative.
The Amicable Divorce Network is currently the only organization in the world that vets professionals prior to membership for being experienced, resolution focused and engaging in fair billing practices. After a member is accepted and joined they are provided training on the Amicable Divorce Process free of charge. Members are then given the opportunity to become a Certified Amicable Divorce Professional (CADP). After becoming a CADP, members can also obtain specialty designations in areas like financial expertise, special needs children and LGBTQ+ families. Different specialties will be offered each year.
Other industry organizations are either education based or dues based. Collaborative is education based. Once an individual has taken the training, they are deemed “collaborative”. We have unfortunately found that not all collaboratively trained professionals are a good fit for our group (although many are!). Dues based organizations are ones whereby paying the amount charged, someone becomes a member.
With 90% of divorcing couples categorizing their divorce as “uncontested” the Amicable Divorce Network feels it is most important to make sure that they are paired with professionals who will honor their desire to have a low conflict divorce. In fact, couples seeking low conflict divorce use the search term “amicable” and “collaborative” synonymously when searching for a professional.
The Amicable Divorce Network limits membership by industry and geography based on area population so an area is not saturated with professionals.
The Amicable Divorce Network sets membership levels based on the number of counties (parishes or units in other areas) that a professional claims. Membership is limited based on the population of each area. A county with low population may only have 8 members per category while some of our larger areas have as many as 50. We do this so that a particular area is not saturated with professionals giving everyone an equal opportunity to work on cases. Limiting the membership also enhances the quality of our group as well as improving professional relationships as professionals work with one another over time.
Parties are seeking low conflict divorce resolutions more and more as they are becoming educated about the destruction a costly high conflict litigation can cause. Although our organization and process are different from collaborative divorce, we have found many collaborative professionals who have joined Amicable Divorce Network so that they have another tool to offer low conflict clients.
Professionals interested in membership can apply on the Amicable Divorce Network website under “Members”.