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Addressing Breakdowns in Collaborative Divorce: Importance & Solutions

collaborative divorce attorney vs. traditional divorce attorney

Addressing Breakdowns in Collaborative Divorce: Importance & Solutions

Collaborative divorce is a process that can help couples achieve a more peaceful and efficient divorce. However, despite everyone’s best efforts, there are times when the process may break down. It’s essential to address the possibility of a breakdown in the collaborative process with clients and to prepare them for the potential outcomes. This article will discuss what can happen if the collaborative process breaks down and the options available to couples.  

Reasons for Breakdown in Collaborative Divorce

While the collaborative process is designed to be cooperative and respectful, there are still reasons why it may break down. Some of the most common reasons for a breakdown in collaborative divorce include:

  • Lack of trust: Collaborative divorce requires high trust between both parties. If one party feels that the other is not honest or forthcoming, this can lead to a breakdown in the process.
  • Power imbalances: In some cases, one party may feel less power or influence in the process, leading to a breakdown in collaboration.
  • Emotional conflicts: Divorce is an emotionally charged process; sometimes, parties cannot set aside their emotions to work collaboratively.
  • Legal disputes: In some cases, legal disputes may arise that cannot be resolved collaboratively, leading to the breakdown of the process.

Consequences of a Breakdown in Collaborative Divorce

If the collaborative process breaks down, several consequences can occur. These include:

  • Delay: If the collaborative process breaks down, the couple will need to start over with a new process, which can cause significant delays in the divorce proceedings.
  • Cost: Starting a new process can also be costly, as couples may need to pay additional legal fees, mediator fees, or other costs associated with the new process.
  • Loss of control: If the collaborative process breaks down, the couple may lose control over the outcome of their divorce, as the court will need to make decisions for them.
  • Emotional impact: A breakdown in the collaborative process can also significantly impact both parties, as they may feel they have failed to work collaboratively and achieve a peaceful divorce.

Litigation Options After a Breakdown in Collaborative Divorce

If the collaborative process breaks down, couples in Florida still have several options for moving forward. These include:

  • Mediation: If the breakdown in collaboration was due to a specific issue, couples might be able to resolve that issue through mediation.
  • Arbitration: In some cases, couples may be able to use arbitration to resolve their disputes. In arbitration, a neutral third party will make decisions about the dispute, which are legally binding.
  • Traditional Litigation: Couples can turn to traditional litigation to resolve their disputes if all else fails. In this case, a judge will make decisions for the divorce issues

Seeking the Help of a Family Law Attorney

If you are considering a collaborative divorce, working with a family law attorney experienced in the collaborative process is essential. They can help you understand the potential consequences of a breakdown in collaboration and prepare you for the possibility. Additionally, if the process does break down, they can help you explore your options and guide you through the following steps.


If this happens, couples in Florida still have options to navigate the breakdown and seek resolution through mediation or, if necessary, litigation in family court. It is essential to understand the available alternatives and consult an experienced family law attorney to determine the best course of action for their situation.

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