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Collaborative Divorce

The best protection against damaging myths is to feed your mind every day with positive information about handling divorce with grace, dignity, and creativity. 

 - Pauline Tessler, MA, JD, and Peggy Thompson, Ph.D., Collaborative Divorce

Avoiding emotional harm and trauma associated with your divorce is paramount for your family. To that end, I am committed to representing clients in Collaborative Divorce. The clients, their collaboratively trained attorneys, and any other necessary neutral experts, are all part of the collaborative team whose goal is to help the clients move through the divorce with guidance and assistance.

I am a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, a Board Member for the Oregon Association of Collaborative Professionals, and a member of Clackamas Collaborative Divorce. Through these affiliations, I know that each client has different needs and has different goals. I have established strong relationships with a community of peacemakers who help clients establish and meet their needs and goals. A client centered team will support your family towards a goal of minimizing trauma and emotional harm for you and your children.

To see why clients may choose Collaborative Divorce, please enjoy this video, produced by the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.

Collaborative practice requires openness and a frank exchange of information and options between the team members, including the Clients. The clients sign a Participation Agreement and commit to agree that they will not run to court until after they try to cooperatively resolve many difficult issues such as:

  • custody, 
  • parenting time, 
  • equitable distribution of property, 
  • spousal support and 
  • child support.

For more information about Collaborative Practice, please review the IACP Knowledge Kit.

Patrick complies with the IACP Standards of Ethics to ensure the most appropriate representation for the client and efforts that benefit the family.


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In the collaborative divorce process, the clients work with collaboratively trained attorneys to represent them during team meetings. And that's one of the great benefits, I think, of collaborative divorce, is the team process. So both of the clients and their attorneys represent them at the table. But also, possibly at the table, depending on the needs of the clients, are other neutrals who can focus on the needs of the clients. So that could be a financial neutral, who is looking at the assets that the family has and working with the family to help them figure out a way to distribute the assets. There's also the divorce coach, who as a neutral, works with both parties to help them through the emotional processes and emotional issues that often arise during the divorce. Other neutrals that can work with and be part of the collaborative team are child specialists, who can work with the parents to help guide the children through the divorce process. The benefit of having this team is that, the team works with the clients to work through the process. There are often three or four meetings that go into the resolution of the divorce process, as many meetings that are as needed, to address all of the issues.

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Clients are often happier with the result because they are the ones who are driving the resolution. They are working with their attorneys to understand the legal issues, of course, but it is the clients who are driving the resolution. And when you come to your own resolution, as opposed to having a judge essentially force a resolution on you, you're more inclined to be accepting of that resolution.

Clarity Law can help families in Northwest Oregon, including Multnomah County, Washington County, Clackamas County, Columbia County, Hood River County, and Clasp County. Contact Clarity Law for more information.


Clarity Law LLC is committed to answering your questions about family law issues in Portland and Northwest Oregon.

Call, email, or use the website to schedule a half-hour consultation with Clarity Law LLC today.