What Is a Cooperative Divorce?

  •   |   Meghan Freed

Blue border with the words "What Is a Cooperative Divorce" in black on a white backgroundYou may be wondering what a cooperative divorce is.

Read on to learn more.

Cooperative Divorce Definition

A cooperative divorce is more difficult to define than other types of divorce like litigation, collaborative divorce, and mediation.  We use “cooperative divorce” to describe an approach we take in some divorces rather than a formal, documented process.  It’s technically a litigation, but shares some characteristics of a collaborative divorce, with some notable and important differences.  Sometimes we also refer to cooperative divorces as “small ‘c’ collaboratives.”

Read: ADR & Divorce

Read:Settlement & Divorce

Cooperative vs. Collaborative Divorce

A collaborative divorce is a type of alternative dispute resolution (ADR).  Although every collaborative is unique, the process is well developed, documented, and organized.  For example, there are many entities dedicated to collaborative practice, including the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP).

Generally speaking, in a collaborative process, lawyers do not formally filed with the court until after the spouses have reached a full settlement agreement.  In a Connecticut collaborative divorce, the spouses and the members of their collaborative team sign a collaborative contract in which they commit to the collaborative process.  As part of that contract, the spouses commit not to turn or threaten to turn to the court to resolve their disputes.  They also agree that their collaborative attorneys will not represent them in a divorce litigation if they aren’t able to come to a full settlement agreement in the collaborative process.

The main difference between Connecticut cooperative and collaborative divorces is that the parties do not sign a participation agreement in a cooperative.  Accordingly, the parties do not agree to commit to the collaborative process, and don’t agree that to retain new lawyers in the event the process conclude early.

Read:What Is a Collaborative Divorce?

Read:What Every Couple Should Know About Collaborative Divorce

Connecticut Cooperative Divorce Process

We use the “cooperative” label for all types of divorces where both sides share an intent to avoid high conflict litigation.  Sometimes there are four way meetings that feel like collaborative team meetings.  Sometimes lawyers suggest neutral professionals to assist with finances or parenting.

Read:What Is a Four Way Meeting in a Divorce?

Read: What Role Does a Financial Professional Play in a Collaborative Divorce

Next Steps

For more information about Connecticut divorce and family law, check out our Divorce Information and Facts. If you have questions or want to learn more about how our team of divorce attorneys can help you, please contact us here.



Freed Marcroft LLC

Freed Marcroft LLC