Collaborative Divorce in New Jersey

Often divorce is a declaration of war. The process is adversarial and combative. Like any war there are casualties. Frequently one or both of the parties have a devastating loss of self esteem, inner peace and well being, feel hurt, angry, vengeful and resentful tword their spouse or partner. The very nature of the traditional adversarial divorce process amplifies these negative feelings and makes things worse. When children are involved studies have shown the effects upon them are devastating and last a lifetime. The damage done to them often cannot ever be repaired.

Collaborative Law is an alternative. It is not combative or adversarial, it is cooperative. A worldwide movement that provides a better way. A path to divorce built on a mutual respect, and cooporation, a goal oriented process that makes every attempt to spare all involved from the trauma and upsetment seen in traditional divorce battles.


  • Make their children their top priority
  • Want to avoid court involvement
  • Have an interest in meeting the interests of all family members
  • Want to keep control over the divorce process
  • Seek privacy over the divorce process,their assets and liabilities
A "win or lose" system that pits lawyer against lawyer, husband against wife. Husbands and wives, assisted by specially trained attorneys, all cooporate with each other to reach a settlement with no or minimal antagonism.
Continuing conflict aggravates existing painful emotions and often creates new ones. A structured and controlled setting creates a safe place that encourages trust, cooperation and objectivity in the negotiations.
Legal fees soar uncontrollably. Legal costs can be contained.
As the conflict remains or escalates, children suffer. Parties can protect their children's feelings, emotional and psychological well being
Confidential financial and personal matters become public record and open to scrutiny. Since there are no public filings or hearings, confidentiality is maintained.
A judge divides property, sets support and establishes custodial and visitation provisions using standards that may not meet your family's particular needs. Attorneys and the parties can craft more creative support, property and custodial arrangements that do meet everyone in the family's particular needs.
Negotiations often take place according to the courts schedule in crowded courthouses under intense pressure. Negotiations occur in a safe neutral environment, on a timetable agreed upon by the parties
Proceedings often are prolonged. Agreements can be reached more quickly and efficiently.
Over 99% of the cases eventually settle, but only after damage has been done and substantial costs have been incurred. Parties agree to settle at the outset, and do so in a process conducive to helping them heal and move forward with their lives at a reduced emotional and financial cost.


  • The process allows the parties to maintain a more healthy relationship during, and after the case is resolved in a cooperative non- adversarial process.
  • The negotiations usually occur prior to the filing of any pleadings with the Court, allowing the parties to focus on the issues while avoiding legal allegations against the other.
  • The parties have complete control over the manner and timetable in which their agreement is reached. Settlements reached in this manner are more sustainable over time and invite more consistent compliance, then Court ordered mandates.
  • Collaborative law is different from mediation in that the parties have an attorney involved in the process who serves as their counselor,facilitator and advocate. In mediation, the mediator serves as a facilitator who has no duty to advance or protect either party's interests.
  • If a client values working toward a peaceful amicable solution over winning at all costs, the client's values will be honored in the Collaborative law process.
  • The requirement that all lawyers be disqualified from representing his or her client in Court in the event of a collaborative law process breakdown guarantees that all participating counsel will be motivated to make the process succeed. Thus, all participants are equally and fully invested in finding a solution. Everyone has an economic incentive to work toward settlement. The parties due to the high costs of litigation and the lawyers because they would be forced to withdraw if settlement cannot be reached.
  • The statistics show that the costs involved in the Collaborative process are substantially less than litigation.
  • In cases where there are tax concerns or other issues of financial impropriety in the parties' finances that cannot be presented in Court, Collaborative law presents a forum for the case to be resolved.
  • If the parties have children, the communication patterns in the collaborative law process helps the parties develop and preserve a cooperative relationship which will benefit the children as the parties go about the task of co-parenting during the process.
  • Collaborative law encourages creative solutions to meet the parties needs which often differ from how the Court would apply the law to facts of the case.
  • Provides the parties and their lawyers with a new, formal and non-adversarial approach to resolving legal disputes.
  • Privacy is preserved..

Attorney and mediator George J. Chehanske assist clients with all matters of Family Law including divorce, child support, alimony, custody, parenting time, visitation, divorce mediation, collaborative law, domestic partnerships and domestic violence in Freehold Township, Freehold Boro, Howell, Jackson, Manalapan, Millstone Township, Toms River, Monmouth County, Ocean County, Middlesex County and the surrounding areas.

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. This web site is designed for general information only. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your specific situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and emails. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established. Before making your choice of attorney, you should give this matter careful thought. The selection of an attorney is an important decision.