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  • Writer's picturePeter Bissett

Courts Closed? Try Collaborative!

Pursuing a divorce case in court and the physical distancing required to limit the spread of the coronavirus have proven to mix like oil and water. Courts are closed to the public. Hearings are being held by Zoom, if at all. Court staff are even more short-handed than normal. It has left many people with divorce, custody, parenting time, or support issues feeling stuck.

Luckily, there is another option we can still take. Many of the attributes that make Collaborative Practice a great alternative to courtroom litigation also make it a great option during this time of physical distancing. The International Association of Collaborative Professionals has issued a press release to drive home the message that Collaborative Practice can be your alternative to the chaos of the court system right now. Here it is (edited slightly for space):



Around the world, divorced and divorcing parents are finding themselves stuck. Courts are closed as their families are dealing with new pressures, such as agreeing on safety measures for children or managing custody schedules thrown into chaos during the COVID-19 pandemic. Collaborative professionals are helping parents navigate divorce and child custody arrangements without having to go to court through a process called Collaborative Divorce.

Many Collaborative practitioners are utilizing virtual meeting options while complying with social distancing guidelines. Court closures are not an issue as Collaborative Divorce is a longstanding alternative to the hostility and dysfunction typically experienced in courtrooms.

Divorce process initiations, as well as alterations to ongoing arrangements, can easily be managed virtually. Binding customized agreements and related legal documentation will be filed with the courts once they reopen.

· Avoids the need to go to court

· Creates a unique action plan that addresses child custody and visitation arrangements, finances and more

· Relies on a team of experienced attorneys, mental health professionals, child specialists, and financial experts

“The global Collaborative community has a history of being adaptive in terms of how we serve our clients,” said Anne Tamar-Mattis, Executive Director of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP). “Our members are steadfast in their commitment to helping people go through the life-changing experience of divorce during this current pandemic.”

The International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP) is an international nonprofit organization focused on transforming the way families divorce by helping them create customized solutions and stay out of court. For more information about IACP or to find a Collaborative professional near you, visit



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