May 13, 2014

Collaborative Divorce: A Minnesota Model Changes the World

Minneapolis, MN

Minneapolis, MN

I just read a Forbes magazine article about the four methods of divorce: Do it yourself Divorce; Mediation; Collaborative Divorce and Litigated Divorce and it reminded of how lucky we are to live in Minnesota. Collaborative Divorce started in Minnesota in 1990 and is now recognized throughout the world as one of the four options. Collaborative Divorce is now being practiced in 24 different countries, on four continents and may be the world’s fastest growing alternative. Last week, I spoke to two divorce attorneys from Capetown, South Africa who will be coming to Minnesota for the entire month of May to study this new, groundbreaking method.

Collaborative divorce is growing so rapidly for a reason; it works.  During my 30 years of practicing family law, I have handled thousands of divorces using every method available.  Today, I spend most of my time doing Collaborative cases because it gives my clients better results for less money; particularly when there are children involved.

While I applaud the Forbes article for helping raise awareness about Collaborative Divorce, I do need to suggest one correction. The author suggests that Collaborative may not work as well when there are complicated financial situations or significant assets.  In fact, that is actually where Collaborative Divorce works best. I have handled many multi-million dollar Collaborative cases and those clients have generally obtained the best outcomes. Because Collaborative Divorce has a rule of full transparency and invites creative structuring of settlement, people with large amount of assets generally get even better outcomes. The rules of disclosure in a Collaborative case are more thorough than in other types of cases.

The author of the article is correct in saying that Collaborative Divorce is not right for every case and that each person facing divorce should investigate each option before they choose. I completely agree with that advice and I would add one other critical element. In weighing each option, make sure

that you speak with professionals who have substantial experience in each area. Getting information about Collaborative Divorce, or any divorce, from someone without training and experience in this area, can be reckless. To find an experience Collaborative attorney in your community who will fully explain Collaborative Divorce to you; go to

Ron Ousky
Attorney, Ousky Law Firm

Ron Ousky is a Collaborative Attorney and mediator who has worked with divorcing families for thirty years and focuses on helping his clients find better outcomes through Collaborative Practice, mediation and other creative alternatives. Ron is also the co-author of The Collaborative Way to Divorce, and has trained divorce lawyers throughout North America and in Europe. He is also the co-founder of the Collaborative Alliance, an office sharing suite in Edina, that brings lawyers, mental health professionals and financial experts together to find better solutions for families. To learn more about Ron and his practice, go to

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