Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary
An alternative way to settle disputes in which both parties hire specially trained attorneys who work to help them respectfully resolve the conflict. Every participant in a collaborative case agrees to work together to seek a "win-win" solution to the needs of both parties. A collaborative law case is not permitted to go to court. If the dispute does end up in court -- or if one of the parties threatens to go to court -- the collaborative law process ends and neither lawyer can continue to work on the case.