Collaborative Divorce

Milwaukee Collaborative Divorce Lawyers

Collaborative divorce is another option for families facing an end to a marriage. At the very beginning of the collaborative divorce process, the couple agrees that they will work together to reach a settlement regarding child custody and physical placement, along with all financial issues in their divorce. The couple agrees that these settlements will be sought after in a way that meets the needs of all family members, including the children. The couple, and their lawyers, each agree in writing that they will not go to court to have a Judge determine any of their unsettled issues. In the event the parties do not succeed in settling their differences privately, the lawyers must both withdraw. This is a foundation of the collaborative process and creates an incentive for everyone to reach agreements.

There are four key principles on which the collaborative divorce process is built:

  1. A written pledge not to litigate in court;
  2. A withdrawal of both attorneys if either party chooses to litigate;
  3. An open and complete exchange of all information; and
  4. Negotiations to the priorities of all family members.

Collaborative lawyers in Milwaukee act as legal advisors and problem solvers rather than as positional advocates. We seek solutions to problems as opposed to successful outcomes in trial. Couples around the county have said that divorces resolved collaboratively are less financially and emotionally painful, and prevent post-judgment returns to court when new issues arise between the parties.

Generally, the collaborative process begins by the parties meeting together with their lawyers in what is referred to as a “four­-way settlement conference.” Each party has the advice of a Milwaukee divorce lawyer who is specially trained in the practice of Collaborative Law as well as experienced in the practice of family law. The couple can also involve other professionals, including mental health professionals and financial advisors. These professionals are jointly chosen to provide input and assure informed decision-making rather than taking sides.

More information about collaborative divorce is available by contacting any one of our collaboratively trained and experienced lawyers of MacGillis Wiemer, LLC or from the Collaborative Family Law Council of Wisconsin, Inc., at