Video that explains collaborative divorce over litigation
May 2, 2011 11:47am
I love this video.  Very professionally done.  It gets right to the heart of why you would do collaborative divorce, or at least a peaceful method of divorce.   It is only about 25 minutes, and worth watching.   If you need a quick way to understand the process, please follow this link.

Posted by Barbara Bartlett

High Conflict Divorce
May 24, 2009 12:32pm

The term ‘high conflict’ refers to couples whose emotions keep them from moving forward thru the divorcing process.   These couples have lost respect for one another.  Their communication is nonproductive, and often destructive.  If there are children, then those children are at risk of serious and continuing emotional harm.

These are the couples that could benefit the most from the collaborative process.  The litigation system gives them endless ways to destroy each other, and their finances.  In collaborative divorce, we start immediately with coaches to help the couple come to terms with the emotions that are keeping them from moving on.

This is an area I have worked in for quite some time.  Before collaborative divorce became known, I developed the Parenting Coordination program in the Tulsa area, then in Oklahoma, and then on a national level.  I have written many articles on Parenting Coordination, and have been quoted in the Wall Street Journal on the topic.  I served on the task force for the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts to develop the Guidelines for Parenting Coordinators. 

If you feel you might be headed for a high conflict divorce, let’s try to prevent it.  You will be a healthier person, you will have healthier kids,, and you definitely will be better off financially. 

Posted by Barbara Bartlett

The Expense of Divorce
May 23, 2009 4:25pm

Many of my clients ask why collaborative divorce would be cheaper.  The reason is that you and I, and your spouse and his/her attorney, spend all our time in constructive movements to settle your case.  If you had hired me for a court type divorce, at least 75% of my time would be used to make you look better than your spouse.  Especially in custody cases.  In collaborative divorce, we don't need to do that.  The goal is not winning, but to make a fair settlement that both of you agree to. 


Smart Money agrees that collaborative is cheaper.  In an article written December 4, 2006 by Aleksandra Todorova, a litigated divorce wasover 4 times as expensive as a collaborative divorce.


Consumer Reports, in a February 2008 article sugggested that doing mediation rather than litgation (going to court) divorce saved the couples 75%.


My own experience of doing this for 24 years bears this out.  You will never know the pain and cost of a litigated divorce unless you experience one first hand.  I do not wish that upon you.  You may still feel the sting of finances when you divorce, but you can always know it would have been a lot worse if you did not do mediaiton or collaboration. 



Don't fight about it.  Save your money for your kids college education...or a trip.  Don't pay an attorney to attempt to destory the person you chose to have children with, or to spend your life with.  In the long run, what does it really gain you? 

Posted by Barbara Bartlett

Oklahoma Academy of Collaborative Professionals
May 22, 2009 8:47pm

During the year of 2009, I have had the honor of serving as President of OACP.  OACP is  Oklahoma Academy of Collaborative

Professionals, an organization of attorneys,

mental health professionals and financial

advisors who work together to learn, practice

and promote a collaborative process for

problem solving and resolution of family law

matters without litigation. For more information about this organization, follow the links at the bottom of any of my website pages, or go to



Posted by Administrator

Price of Divorce
May 21, 2009 2:39pm recently wrote an article highlighting the benefits and disadvantages of collaborative divorce in today’s economy. Since the clients are avoiding a lot of the fighting time that is usually done through lawyers in a typical divorce, a large amount of money is saved. In Oklahoma, for example, a typical litigated divorce could run as high as $30,000, while a collaborative divorce would be closer to the $4,000 to $10,000 range.

This article also states that though the price maybe right, the collaborative divorce process isn’t for everyone. Both clients, and their hired representatives in the divorce, have to be ready and willing to sit down in a respectful setting and communicate plainly what they want. If there is hostility in the relationship or a feeling of the need to “get even”, the collaborative process will not work and could end up costing more in the long run. For this reason, Smart Money recommends coming to the collaborative table with an open mind and, if possible, lawyers that have worked together previously. This often leads to a smoother and faster divorce as the lawyers have an established relationship that can assist their clients in communicating better.

Don’t fight about it. If you’re facing a divorce in Tulsa County, contact Barbara Bartlett to find out if a collaborative divorce could save you money and hassle.

Posted by Emily Mapes

Divorce or Dissolution?
May 21, 2009 2:31pm

What is the difference between divorce and dissolution of marriage?


Nothing, really.  Just history.  Divorce is the historical term for ending a marriage.  We are all familiar with it, so it is still what most of us use.  It is clear what we mean. 


A few years ago, our Oklahoma legislature decided to distinguish divorce from other lawsuits.  It had been {husband} versus {wife}.  That 'versus' makes it sound like the husband and wife are pitted against each other, like two corporations fighting over a contract.  So our law was changed to say 'In re the marriage of {wife} and {husband}.  Sounds a little nicer, huh?


And with that switch, we also switched the language from  divorce to 'dissolution of marriage'.  Hopefully it has less of an emotional impact since divorce had had such poor connotations in the past. 

Posted by Barbara Bartlett

February 6, 2009 2:19pm

I hope you will find the following book reviews helpful.  If you are in Tulsa, seeking a divorce or perhaps just contemplating divorce, you may find  useful information in these books. 


TITLE: THE COLLABORATIVE WAY TO DIVORCE The Revolutionary Method That Results in Less Stress, Lower Costs, and Happier kids-Without going to Court

AUTHOR:  Stu Webb, JD and Ron Ousky, JD  269 pages (2006)

SUMMARY:  This book has been described as a reader friendly guide to preparing for the collaborative legal process.  It provides information on the key elements involved in collaboration and how the process works.  It breaks down the Collaborative Divorce process and expands on each step to better inform the reader.  It is similar to what you will find in collaborative divorce in Tulsa.


TITLE:  Divorce: a Problem to be Solved, Not a Battle to be Fought

AUTHOR:  Karen Fagerstrom, Ph.D., with Diana Wild, Peggy Thomson, Ph.D., Rodney Nurse, Ph.D., ABPB, Milton Kalish, LCSW, Nancy Ross, LCSW, & Thomas Wolfrum, J.D.  117 pages (1997)

SUMMARY:  The authors of this book are mainly from the mental health field. They focus on the feelings of the break up.  It is described as a basic introduction to the Collaborative Divorce process.  Coaches in the Tulsa area will explore this with you too.


TITLE:  Divorce Without Court: A Guide to Mediation and Collaborative Divorce

AUTHOR:  Katherine E. Stoner Nolo; (2006)

SUMMARY:  This book is written using metaphors and hypothetical examples to guide the reader in making the decision to choose mediation or collaboration.  The author keeps her explanations neutral and puts the law in perspective.  This book offers insight to acquiring critical skills that will allow the spouse to proceed through the collaborative divorce or mediation successfully.  For those seeking divorce in Tulsa, this is a good general book.


TITLE:  Divorce Without Disaster Collaborative Law in Texas

AUTHOR:  Janet P. Brumley 272 pages (2004)

SUMMARY:  This book gives a real life in depth look at the individual steps of the Collaborative process.  It is written in 4 chapters and takes the reader step by step through the collaborative divorce process.  These steps apply to collaborative divorce in Tulsa, though the book is written about another state. 

Posted by Administrator

January 27, 2009 7:51pm

In the October issue of Family Circle Magazine, there was an article in support of the Collaborative Divorce (CD) process.  The article, entitled “The Friendly Divorce”, touched on the overall process of Collaborative Divorce and 4 key benefits of using the Collaborative Divorce process.  These are applicable everywhere, and would apply to Tulsa area divorces.


I agree with Family Circle that less bitterness is one benefit.  In the Collaborative Divorce process couples are able to focus on the issues that are most important to the agreement process rather than the emotions that drive them to feel embittered.  You do not want to make decisions based on those negative emotions.  Everyone wins when the focus is on a peaceful resolution based on the needs of both parties rather than one person getting his/her way.


Family Circle Magazine lists lower expenses as a second benefit.  For several reasons, they are absolutely correct.  I have seen heavy litigation cases in which couples have spent their life savings and/or gone in debt trying to ‘win’ their way.  Reality is that nobody will ever really ‘win’ in a litigated divorce, especially in a litigated divorce with minor child(ren).  Unfortunately, however, people get so focused on their anger they do not look at what they would lose in a Tulsa County Court, or wherever else they may be.  They will usually lose the opportunity to have a civilized relationship as ex-spouses.  Their child(ren) pay the biggest price.  The hope for co-parenting is usually diminished.  This causes the cost of a litigated divorce to be driven up even more as the parent(s) attempt to deal with the after effects of the divorce on the child (ren). 


Fortunately, there is the Collaborative Divorce process.  The divorcing couple using this method will usually spend far less.  Why?  Simply because they sit down together at the collaborative table and they work together. As Family Circle mentions, by giving full disclosure of assets the need for discovery, which can be extremely costly, is diminished.  We often use coaches and financial consultants to help each spouse understand and meet the needs of the other.  If both spouses work this way, it is a win/win.


An additional benefit of collaborative divorce is the use of a Child Specialist who will help the couple understand and meet the needs of the child (ren).  This saves the child (ren) from paying the biggest price.  The parent(s) are not left paying professionals to try to undue the residual effects of the litigated divorce.  In a successful Collaborative Divorce process the biggest winner can be and often is the family.  Divorce is a life changing event but it does not have to completely drain the family financially nor destroy the family emotionally. 


The third benefit that Family Circle Magazine lists is “quicker results”.  Litigation cases can and often do drag out for years and years.  Family Circle reports that the Collaborative Divorce process takes about 4 months on average.  My experience in Tulsa is that it will happen faster than that if you want it to.  When the court’s schedule is taken out of the equation the stage is then set for the divorce to move at the chosen pace of the divorcing couple.  This gives you a sense of control over when and how things will happen.  It can give you a feeling of security to know that things will happen when you are ready rather than when a judge says it must happen. 


The last benefit addressed by Family Circle Magazine is ‘a custom solution’.  Imagine a divorce in which you walk away with not only your self-respect, dignity, and respect for your former spouse but also a divorce agreement that is unique to the needs of you, your former spouse, and child (ren).  This is exactly what the Collaborative Divorce method provides the opportunity for.  It is the end result that everyone works so hard to achieve.  Collaboration provides the opportunity for the divorcing couple to make their own decisions as to how assets will be divided or their child’s needs will be met and so much more.    


Essentially the Collaborative Divorce process gives the divorcing couple more freedom of choice. In reality, who really wants the alternative, which is a judge telling you who gets what, how the needs of your kids will be met, etc.  There is no better person qualified to decide the best arrangement for your divorce than you yourself and your spouse.  You came together as two people who cared for and respected each other and through the Collaborative Divorce process you should be able to part as two people who at least respect each other.  If you are in Tulsa County Courts, a divorce could easily take over a year.



Posted by Barbara Bartlett

November 6, 2007 1:54pm

You may have heard of using psychologists in the divorce process.  Usually it is to prove that the other parent has problems and is not fit to parent.  Or that one parent is better than another.  That is a destructive way to use this valuable resource.  In collaborative divorce, we use mental health professionals to 'coach' the parents. 

There is no reason to think that the communciation between the parents will get better upon divorce.  It usually gets worse.  So we use collaborative coaches to work with the parents to come to a neutral ground for communciations.

In the Tulsa County collaboratvie process, we get a coach for each parent.  We know the different coaches, and pick one that will work with you well.  Each of you meet with his/her respective coaches.  You may then begin having sessions with both coaches and both parents.  

The meetings are all confidential.  The coaches are not there to assign blame.  They are there to help you start a new level of relationship with your child's parent.  To help you phase out of the spousal realtionship, and into the co-parenting relationship.  This is best for you children, and best for your own stress level.   


Posted by Barbara Bartlett

A Well Trained Collaborative Divorce Professional
June 21, 2007 7:16am

If you have read any of the other entries on this blog, you realize the many benefits of collaborative divorce. You probably also realize the need for a trained professional to help you through this process of divorce. I recommend Barbara Bartlett.

Barbara is without a doubt one of the most educated professionals in the area of collaborative divorce. She has taken a total of twenty-eight (28) hours of conflict resolution training from various instructors between 1991 and the present. In addition to that training, she took a 40 hour course in mediation from Robert Benjamin. Barbara also took Basic Interdisciplinary training in 2006. She has taken nearly 16 hours of Basic Collaborative Law Training, and in 2007 she taught an Intermediate Collaborative Law course.

If you do choose collaborative law for your divorce and you live in the Tulsa area, choose the educated and experienced Barbara Bartlett.

Don't fight about it. Choose Barbara Bartlett for your collaborative divorce, and save yourself a lot of time, worry, and money.

Posted by Emily Mapes

Divorce and the Stars
June 18, 2007 9:10am

Every day you can turn on your television to hear the latest rumors about celebrity divorces. The media tends to dramatize these proceedings. There have been countless rumors about the custody of children, the splitting of assets, and as always, high strung emotional outbreaks. Of course, these are what comes with any divorce, only the every day person doesn't have the media breathing down their necks.

Now turn the tables. Imagine if these celebrities had decided to choose collaborative divorce over litigation. Their children would be assured that no matter what the media made up, their parents have created respectful boundaries in which to complete their divorce. The tabloids wouldn't sell as easily, because the public would know that there are no drag-out, disrespectful fights involving hidden agendas in a collaborative divorce. The stars would also save money as will as face value.

Maybe these people we look to for fashion advice should take a legal lesson from Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Don't fight about it. Don't worry about it. Decide today to utilize collaborative law in your divorce.

Posted by Barbara Bartlett

Collaborative Divorce Around the World
June 14, 2007 8:28am

The IACP website has recently linked news articles showing that not only is collaborative divorce being used in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but around the world. Newspapers in Canada and Scotland as well as other areas in the UK have begun recommending collaborative law as a positive alternative to the other means of divorce.

These newspapers highlight some of the aspects of collaborative divorce that many people of Tulsa have experienced themselves through their divorce. Collaborative divorce is comparatively cheaper than litigation. Choosing collaborative law also helps a family going through divorce to stay together and respect one another, rather than cutting each other down through an extensive and embarassing litigation divorce. This benefits the children in a family the most.

With these benefits, it is no surprise that other areas of the world are taking Tulsa's lead and are choosing collaborative divorce.

Don't fight about it. Realize what the world is realizing- collaborative divorce that keeps respect for yourself and your partner in mind is the way to go.

Posted by Barbara Bartlett

Collaborative Books
May 2, 2007 5:10pm

There are some excellent books about Collaborative Divorce. These have been written by the founders of the collaborative process, and they are 'guide' books for someone going thru the process.  If you are thinking about divorcing collaboratively, or are already in the process, these books will be of great help to you.    Check out them out:

The Collaborative Way to Divorce, the Revolutionary Method that Results in Less Stress, Lower Costs, and Happier Kids- Without Going to Court.   by Stu Webb


Collaborative Divorce, the Revolutionary New Way to Restructure Your Family, Resolve Legal Issues, and Move on with Your Life by Pauline Tesler

Posted by Barbara Bartlett
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