» Collaborative Law

Do we have to get along for collaborative to work?

This is a common myth about the collaborative process. A collaborative divorce does not mean that a couple must agree on most things, or must get along well. A collaborative divorce just means that the couple agrees to use this specific process to divorce, and to act in an open and respectful manner throughout the process. This is not the best process where there are specific issues related to domestic violence or concerns about an imbalance of power, but it does not necessarily mean that the couple agrees on all issues. Contact Mundahl Law today to explore whether this process is right for your family.

How do I convince my spouse?

The most effective collaborative process is one where both parties understand the process and are both able and willing to work within the participation agreement to resolve their case. If you or your spouse have questions, visit www.collaborativelaw.org to learn more about the process and organization in Minnesota. The International Academy of Collaborative Professionals is another great resource for information, which can be found at www.collaborativepractice.com. Contact Mundahl Law to discuss your divorce options.

How do I know if collaborative is right for me?

Collaborative law is best for couples who would like to work through the divorce process in a way that is respectful and dignified, and that is individualized to your specific family. If you would like to learn skills to help you better co-parent in the future, the collaborative process might be right for you. If you would like a process that moves at the pace that is best for you and your family, the collaborative process might be right for you as well. If there are concerns about domestic violence or an imbalance of power, a more traditional process is more likely to be a better process to provide protection for the couple and their family. If you have questions about what process is right for you, contact Mundahl Law to set up a consultation.

If my spouse already filed with the court, can we still go through collaborative?

Yes. The attorneys would need to file a document with the court to place it on an inactive status while the couple works through the collaborative process. Contact Mundahl Law to discuss your options for the divorce process.

Can any attorney help me with a collaborative divorce?

Any attorney can work in a collaborative way, but this does not mean that they have been trained in the process with a participation agreement. The Collaborative Law Institute of Minnesota trains attorneys to represent spouses in this process, and also provides ongoing training for these professionals. Mundahl Law has attorneys who are trained and available for the collaborative process. Contact us today to set up a consultation.

Is collaborative law the same as mediation?

No, collaborative law is a different process than mediation. In mediation, the couple may or may not have their own attorneys, and the mediator is there to help resolve disputes. It is a similar process in that it can be completed outside of the court process and that it is a series of meetings with the couple present to resolve issues. The collaborative process is different because both parties sign an agreement that the divorce will be resolved outside the courts, and that if the couple falls out of this process they must both hire new attorneys. Mediation is different because the participation agreement is not a part of the process, even if court might not be necessary. Contact Mundahl Law to discuss your options for the divorce process.

Do both spouses need an attorney?

Yes, through the collaborative process, both attorneys need to hire their own attorney. This ensures that both parties have an advocate on their side to advise them of the law, who is trained in the collaborative process. If you would like to discuss your options in the collaborative process, contact Mundahl Law today.

Why is collaborative different than going to court?

The collaborative process is more individualized than the court process, because the spouses are making decisions for their family together, as opposed to a judge potentially making a final decision. The judge does not know your family and the individual concerns of your family members. The collaborative process is also more individualized because the spouses proceed through the process at their own pace. The traditional process is set on the court’s calendar, which the spouses have little if any control over. Many couples also find that this process is better for them because they continue to have the control over the process and the outcome. This process is not the best for everyone, however, and if there are concerns about an imbalance of power, or domestic violence, the collaborative process is not likely to be the best process. If you have questions about the collaborative process or alternatives, contact Mundahl Law to schedule a consultation.

It sounds like there are a lot of people involved in collaborative. Is it expensive?

A collaborative process can be similarly priced or maybe less expensive than a traditional process. In the collaborative process, the use of neutral specialists keeps attorneys’ fees down, since the work that the neutrals are doing is often what attorneys would do in a traditional case. Also, not only are neutrals usually charging a lower rate, the collaborative process requires paying only one specialist. In the traditional process, usually if one spouse hires an expert, the other spouse must also hire an expert, meaning there are two experts now that must be paid for their services. Contact Mundahl Law today to discuss the use of the collaborative process, and whether it would be right for you.

What is collaborative law?

Collaborative law is a divorce process outside of the courts. Collaborative law requires both spouse to agree to use the process, and it will bring in a team of collaborative professionals if necessary. These professionals include a financial neutral, child specialist, or a divorce coach. The process includes a number of four way meetings, where both spouses and their attorneys attend to set goals for the process and to resolve disputes. Both the parties and the attorneys commit that they will not go to court, but that the case will be resolved through this settlement process. If the parties decide to use the court process, they will need to retain new attorneys. The collaborative process is driven by the clients, their goals, and what is best for their specific family. If you have questions about collaborative law, contact Mundahl Law today to schedule an appointment.


[My attorney] did a great no-nonsense approach to helping me through a custody battle.  She was efficient and professional.  I appreciated her ability to stay focused on the legal side of things even though this was a very emotional and difficult t…
– Heather B.

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