In order for a case to be Collaborative, there must be a signed Collaborative Agreement. This is true for Collaborative Divorce as well as any collaborative case. If a lawyer states that he or she can work "collaboratively" with another attorney, yet disregard the risks and rewards of the Collaborative Participation contract, that lawyer is not truly collaborative. Such a lawyer may be more concerned with preserving an opportunity to earn fees in litigation, and this attitude is an impediment to the empowerment a client enjoys by using the Collaborative Process.
The cornerstone of Collaborative Practice is the Participation Agreement, and the backbone of the Agreement is its Disqualification Clause. If you have decided that the Collaborative Process may "provide the story you want your children to tell of their parents' divorce," then only by taking the metaphorical 'club' out of the attorneys' hands may the immediate threat of a "War of the Roses" scenario be eliminated.
Only a signed Participation Agreement will quiet veiled threats of litigation and the 'take it or leave it,' attitude that is so often present in traditional attorney negotiated cases. Without a foundation of hopeful trust and cooperation, symbolized by a signed Collaborative Participation Agreement, suspicion and fear will be present throughout any negotiation, and long after the decree of dissolution is finalized.