Hudson Valley Collaborative Divorce and Dispute Resolution Association Receives “Psychologically Healthy” Organizational Award, May 5, 2012

DUTCHESS COUNTY, NY- The Hudson Valley Collaborative Divorce and Dispute Resolution Association (HVCDDRA) is to be honored with the Hudson Valley Psychological Association’s Award in the “Organizational” category. The Award will be presented at a Reception and Ceremony, Saturday May 5, 2012 from 6:00 – 9:00pm, to be held at the Henry A. Wallace Center, FDR Presidential Home and Library in Hyde Park, NY.

Kathryn Lazar, co-founder of the HVCDDRA said, “We are very proud to accept this award, as it so accurately reflects our mission, which is to make divorce a process that is psychologically based and which treats all participants as humanistically as possible.”

The mission of the Dutchess County-based HVCDDRA, is to support each divorcing couple, including their children, as they make complex choices. The goal is to maximize their long-term financial, legal, and emotional health as the family’s life and structure are reorganized during the divorce process. The participants make their own decisions, unlike in the litigation process of divorce, where a judge makes decisions for the couple in court,

The Collaborative process is designed around three basic principles:

1. The Collaborative professionals work as an interdisciplinary team for the best interest of the family as a whole.

2. The process prioritizes respect, transparency, and strives to define “fairness” in allinteractions.

3. A rational, positive, pro-active attitude is emphasized, with each spouse taking responsibility for his/her own future.

Children’s needs are especially considered in this process. Kathryn Lazar said, “Children’s developmental stages and needs are central to the Collaborative Divorce process. We listen to the children’s voices themselves and assess their emotional and educational needs and help to enhance their parents co-parenting skills.”

All members of the Collaborative team, the two attorneys [one for each spouse], the neutral financial expert, and the neutral mental health professional, pledge not to go the court. Instead, the team works together with the clients in a respectful, transparent manner to resolve their current dispute and move the entire family into a future characterized by cooperation, hope, and growth.


BACKGROUND. Formed in 2003 by founding members Kathryn Lazar, Esq, Daniel McCabe, Esq, and Maria Alba-Fisch, Ph.D., HVCDDRA has grown to forty legal, financial, and mental health professionals, with each member an expert in their field.

The Hudson Valley Collaborative Divorce and Dispute Resolution Association represents a new approach to divorce, which offers couples an opportunity to separate with a minimum of bitterness and animosity. Instead of going in front of a judge, the two parties and their attorneys sit down together to work out the details of the dissolution of their marriage, with the help of mental health professionals and a financial advisor. Each party has a lawyer and a divorce coach to assist them. The team works collaboratively with the couple so that divorcing spouses can reach agreement.

Every regional member is required to belong to the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP: which keeps a high level of quality control through its monthly trainings, workshops, and retreats.