Skip to Content
Litigation. Collaborative Law. Mediation.
LONG ISLAND Collaborative Law ATTORNEYS Our firm is one of the largest matrimonial law firms in New York City that offers all three ways to divorce. Let us help you choose the best option for you and your family.


What Is Collaborative Law?

Divorcing spouses who do not seek to go straight to litigation may consider an alternative dispute resolution method called “collaborative law.” In this process, each spouse is represented by a specially trained collaborative lawyer. Spouses will sit together with their lawyers in face-to-face meetings to identify and address the issues they need to resolve to separate. This might involve financial planning and mental health professionals to settle matters like property division and child support. Note that if either spouse wants to go to court, the collaborative process ends. 

In the collaborative law process, the lawyers and parties will all work together rather than as adversaries as in the traditional divorce trial. Spouses will have meetings with their own lawyers and the other professionals on their side, and both parties will convene to craft a final agreement. The non-adversarial nature of collaborative law allows the divorcing spouses more room to negotiate the outcome they want, rather than deferring to a judge’s default decision. This also means the agreement may last longer and be more robust, as both spouses themselves proposed and agreed to the provisions.

Collaborative law offers several benefits that can make it an appealing approach for resolving legal disputes, especially in family law cases like divorce or custody battles. Here are some of the key advantages:

  • Empowerment: Collaborative law empowers individuals to actively participate in crafting their own solutions. It allows parties to have a voice in the outcome rather than leaving the decisions solely in the hands of a judge.
  • Privacy: Collaborative law proceedings are usually confidential. This confidentiality can be reassuring for parties who wish to keep personal matters out of the public eye, unlike court proceedings which are typically public record.
  • Reduced Conflict: This approach promotes a less adversarial atmosphere compared to traditional litigation. Parties commit to open communication and negotiation, which can help in reducing hostility and animosity between them.
  • Efficiency: Collaborative law often moves faster than traditional litigation. By focusing on problem-solving rather than court dates and procedures, the process can be more efficient, potentially saving time and money.
  • Tailored Solutions: Parties have more control and flexibility in shaping solutions that work for their specific circumstances. This can lead to more creative and customized agreements that better suit the needs of everyone involved.
  • Preservation of Relationships: Particularly in family law cases, maintaining amicable relationships, especially when children are involved, is often a priority. Collaborative law aims to preserve relationships by fostering cooperation rather than contention.
  • Emotional Support: Collaborative law often involves interdisciplinary teams, including lawyers, financial experts, and mental health professionals. These professionals can provide emotional support and guidance throughout the process, helping parties navigate difficult decisions.
  • Post-Divorce Relationships: By emphasizing cooperation and understanding during the process, collaborative law can set a positive tone for future interactions, which can be especially beneficial when ongoing cooperation is necessary, such as co-parenting.

Overall, collaborative law offers an alternative approach that prioritizes mutual respect, problem-solving, and cooperation, aiming to reach fair and mutually agreeable resolutions while minimizing the negative impact of legal disputes on relationships and well-being.

Is Collaborative Law Right for You?

Determining if collaborative law is suitable for your situation involves considering various factors. Here are some steps to help you assess whether collaborative law is the right approach:

  • Nature of the Dispute: Collaborative law is often effective for disputes involving family matters like divorce, child custody, or disputes between co-parents. Consider whether your situation involves ongoing relationships where cooperation is important.
  • Willingness to Collaborate: All parties involved must be willing to engage in open dialogue and negotiation. If one or both parties are not willing to communicate or compromise, collaborative law may not be the best option.
  • Desire for Control and Input: If you prefer having more control over the outcome and want to actively participate in crafting solutions rather than having a judge decide for you, collaborative law could be a good fit.
  • Emotional Readiness: Collaborative law can involve direct communication between parties. Consider whether you and the other party are emotionally ready to engage in this process without escalating conflict or becoming overly distressed.
  • Complexity of the Situation: Collaborative law might not be suitable for highly complex legal issues or situations involving abuse, extreme power imbalances, or where one party is acting in bad faith. In such cases, a more adversarial approach might be necessary to protect your rights.
  • Commitment to the Process: All parties, including attorneys, must commit to the collaborative process. If any party involved prefers a more traditional litigation route, the collaborative approach may not work effectively.
  • Cost Consideration: While collaborative law can be more cost-effective than litigation, it still involves fees for attorneys and potentially other professionals involved. Consider your financial situation and whether this method aligns with your budget.
  • Legal Counsel: Ensure you consult with a collaborative law attorney who can provide guidance tailored to your specific circumstances. They can help assess whether collaborative law is appropriate for your situation and explain its benefits and limitations.

Remember, the decision to pursue collaborative law should be made after careful consideration of these factors and after consulting with legal professionals who specialize in this approach. It's important to choose the method that best aligns with your goals, priorities, and the nature of your dispute.

Continue Reading Read Less

What Sets Us Apart From The Rest?

Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein is here to help you get the results you need with a team you can trust.


    We are one of the only Manhattan divorce law firms offering all three options for divorce: litigation/negotiation, collaborative law, and mediation - providing custom strategies and solutions for our clients.


    All families and marriages are unique - our attorneys take the time to listen to our clients to fully understand the circumstances of their case. Only then do we advise the best legal option for their goals.


    Divorce is a time of transition. We understand the emotional and financial stress that clients experience during the divorce process – from day one our team ensures that we provide our clients with prompt feedback so that they are updated on their case every step of the way.


    Our attorneys provide frequent expert legal commentary for national media outlets and have been quoted in numerous publications including Fox's Business, NBC News, ABC News, CBS News and many more.

How We Will Help You Through the Process

Our attorneys at Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein practice exclusively in family law, which means we have a deep and professional knowledge of all divorce disputes in many different circumstances, including child custody, property division, spousal maintenance, and child support. As a result, we will know how to effectively negotiate for each and every one of your divorce concerns. We also specialize in alternative dispute resolution methods in divorce, particularly collaborative law, so you can trust that we are familiar with the collaborative process and can walk you through every step of the negotiation. 

We understand how emotionally and mentally draining the divorce process can be, so we will do our best to shoulder the brunt of the work in your negotiation. We will commit ourselves to your collaborative divorce and voice your interests and goals in the negotiation room. From collaborating with your spouse on drafting a custody arrangement to fighting for your property interests when dividing marital property, we can help you start on the right foot after divorce. Litigation can be costly, so collaborative law can save you time and money, as well as preserve an amicable relationship between you and your ex-spouse.

Let Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein help you with your collaborative divorce in Long Island. Call (516) 614-4104 or contact our firm online to get started.

Ready to Discuss Your Options?

  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.
  • By submitting, you agree to be contacted about your request & other information using automated technology. Message frequency varies. Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to cancel. Acceptable Use Policy