Monthly Member Meeting | Understanding Collaborative Divorce & Debunking Common Misconceptions: It’s Not All Rainbows and Butterflies


Mediation is a familiar term, with most people having an awareness and understanding of what that means and how it works for divorcing couples.  The Collaborative process, however, is unknown to most.  Even for those within the legal profession and related areas, who may think they know, we find that confusion and misconceptions abound.  The term “collaborative” has misleadingly become synonymous with “amicable”, and although a collaborative case involves parties who aim to be amicable; it can also be appropriate and effective in situations when the parties nevertheless exhibit high conflict personalities, mental health issues, infidelity and distrust, poor communication, children with special needs and complex finances.  A case can have challenging aspects and still be ripe for the Collaborative process.

Key Takeaways:

  • Provide an overview of the Collaborative Process and Collaborative Team to understand how it really works.  
  • The Collaborative process can be effective in resolving high conflict cases.   
  • The Collaborative process works well for high net worth, complex matters.  
  • There is a streamlined version for simpler, less complex cases.  
  • This is an interdisciplinary process involving various professionals and it’s never too late to include Collaborative process into your own practice.   
  • Attorneys in the audience will be able to identify which cases are appropriate for the referral to Collaboration process.  They will also learn more about how to obtain the necessary training, and to network and market your practice to become a Collaborative professional.


Jacqueline M. Caputo was admitted to the New York State Bar in January 2004 and has concentrated on matrimonial law throughout the majority of her career.  Jacqueline’s reputation, both as a skilled litigator but also as a very smart, highly regarded, and excellent mediator, brought her to the attention of two of the partners at Joseph Law Group, P.C. many years ago.  Recognizing that her skills and core values aligned with those of the firm, the firm regularly referred mediations and collaborative matters to her and always received great feedback from those clients.    

Her interest in matrimonial law comes from her deep-seated desire to help families by minimizing much of the emotional trauma that often accompanies a litigated divorce.  It is her unwavering belief that the ending of a marriage should be an opportunity for each of the parties to grow, to become happier and healthier.  When there are children, and when appropriate, she believes divorce should be treated as a “reorganization of a family” rather than an opportunity to exact vengeance on one another or to “right the wrongs” of the past.  To that end, Jacqueline focuses her practice on mediation and collaborative recognizing that these methods can often help restore peace to families and provide a clear path for the future. 

Jacqueline is the proud alumna of The College of Arts & Sciences at Cornell University and continues to be involved as a volunteer for the Cornell Alumni Admissions Ambassador Network. Jacqueline is a member of the New York State Bar Association and both the Nassau County Bar Association and the Suffolk County Bar Association and their Matrimonial Law Committees.  She served as a founding member – the Associate Director of the Long Island Chapter – of the National Association of Divorce Professionals from 2017 to 2019 and remains an active member to date. 

Kristen Goss, Esq. is a native of Fort Lauderdale, Florida and the Managing Partner of KWG Family Legal and Mediation Services, LLC, founded in 2016 with offices in Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton.
Ms. Goss is a collaboratively-trained marital and family law attorney who is passionate about advocating for her clients’ legal interests outside of court in order to resolve their divorce, paternity action, modification, and any other family law-related matter in a private, healthy, empowering, and cost-efficient manner.
Ms. Goss has been married since April 2008 and has three beautiful daughters. An interesting fact about Ms. Goss is that she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in conflict resolution (communication studies) from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida, and, prior to practicing law, she was a licensed financial advisor. Her communication training and finance experience enables her to provide greater insight when representing her clients.

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