Cooperative Divorce

Once the decision has been made to end a marriage, the most important question to be answered is “how” the parties will go about it. In every instance, the answer to “how” involves two components: what form will the inevitable negotiations take; and, what happens if the negotiation ends in a dispute or impasse.

Cooperative Divorce provides you with the flexibility to choose from among all of your options in creating a process that suits you. You select, both, the negotiating model and dispute resolution mechanism with which you are most comfortable. The choices for the negotiating model include: four-way meetings with the parties and their counsel (either required or as requested by either party); mediation; facilitation; or, early neutral evaluation. The dispute resolution options include: arbitration; a private judge; cooperative litigation; and parenting coordination. You are free to “stack” your choices. For example, the negotiating model can specify four-way meetings as requested, followed by mediation, before proceeding to the dispute resolution mechanism.

Once the choices have been made as to the form of the negotiation and the mechanism for dispute resolution, these elements are set forth in a Participation Agreement signed by you and your counsel, and by your spouse and his or her counsel. The Participation Agreement is a binding and enforceable agreement. To the extent that the parties select arbitration as the way in which any dispute will ultimately be resolved, Cooperative Divorce is the only process that assures that you will not become involved in prolonged court litigation that is unnecessarily costly to the family, both economically and emotionally.

Skirbunt Cahn Skirbunt Ramsey has been a pioneer in advancing and developing choices alternative to litigation for clients. Jim Skirbunt and Jim Cahn created and developed the Cooperative Divorce Process and are nationally recognized leaders in Cooperative Practice.

Cooperative Divorce is a model suited to fit the needs of most families. If you would like to pursue a Cooperative Divorce, Call Us. We Can Help.

Cooperative Divorce: How Does it Work?

Cooperative Divorce: Models and Mechanisms


Sample Cooperative Divorce Participation Agreement


Bar Journal Article on the subject of Cooperative Divorce By Jim Skirbunt