What is a Collaborative Agreement?

By Beverly Bird
An overhead view of three people signing an agreement.

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Collaboration involves two or more individuals putting their efforts together to achieve a common goal. Whether this is done for business purposes or to resolve personal legal disputes, a written agreement to collaborate creates an enforceable contract after all parties sign it.

What a Collaboration Agreement Addresses

If you’re entering into a collaboration with business partners, such as to develop a product or service or to form a musical band, your agreement would typically begin with outlining each person's responsibilities and expected contributions to the project. The agreement might address confidentiality issues, as well. Are you free to speak about your project with outsiders? If so, how much can you say and what can you divulge? A good collaboration agreement decides in advance what will happen if one or more parties decide they no longer want to be part of the venture, what happens when the project is completed, and how you’ll deal with any resulting revenues.

Family Law Agreements

In family law, a collaborative agreement has a slightly different meaning. Spouses planning to divorce can work together with a team of professionals to resolve the issues of their marriage. Collaborative divorce is different from mediation because it involves a series of meetings between spouses, their attorneys and jointly hired experts to give advice on financial or custody issues. Once a collaborative agreement is reached, it can be submitted to the court to avoid trial.

About the Author

Beverly Bird is a practicing paralegal who has been writing professionally on legal subjects for over 30 years. She specializes in family law and estate law and has mediated family custody issues.

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