Ground Rules for the Collaborative Process

Communication Aids

  1. Take turns speaking and avoid interrupting
  2. Listen with an open mind; avoid making assumptions and judgments
  3. Consider restating what was said and inquire whether you understood correctly
  4. If you are upset by what someone said, it may not be intentional
  5. Ask yourself if what you are about to say helps move the process forward
  6. Use “I statements” to share your feelings and experience
  7. If you have difficult things to say, take the time to frame them carefully
  8. Avoid sarcasm, provocation and blame

Negotiation Tips

  1. Emphasize broad goals and interests rather than positions
  2. Aim to be creative, constructive and open to compromise
  3. Focus on present and future plans rather than lingering on the past
  4. Intense emotions can happen, don’t allow them to drive the divorce process
  5. Try to avoid being demanding, unreasonable and unyielding
  6. Good solutions emerge when both people’s needs and interests are met

Process Guidelines

  1. Commit time to the process and schedule regular meetings
  2. Follow through with commitments, keep agreed schedules and interim financial arrangements
  3. Provide financial information and complete other tasks promptly
  4. Have patience for some occasional delays
  5. Raise any questions, confusion, concerns or frustrations with a professional
  6. Feel free at any time to request a break and to speak to a professional privately