Wolff, who splits her time evenly between being a traditional financial advisor and what's termed a "financial neutral," added that "the ones who went through litigation seem worn out and exhausted; they often need a year or so to recover before they're able to focus."
Financial neutrals serve as an advisor to both spouses, providing financial guidance and planning and facilitating joint financial decisions to bring about optimal results for both parties.
The clients' longtime advisors can play an important role within the collaborative paradigm, said financial neutral Cathy Daigle, a certified financial planner and owner of financial divorce consultancy Cathy Daigle.
4 key elements of collaborative practice
- The voluntary, free and open exchange of information.
- The pledge not to litigate (go to court for decision-making), and the mandatory withdrawal of both attorneys and other team professionals if either party litigates.
- The professionals' commitment to use their best skills to assist you in reaching an agreement without having to resort to judicial decision-making.
- A balanced commitment to respect both parties' shared goals.
Source: International Academy of Collaborative Professionals
"We're building and enhancing their relationships with their clients by engaging them as part of the process," Daigle said. "They want to put their clients in good hands."
She added, "We'll engage them in the collaborative process to educate us about the clients' assets, especially in the cases of high-net-worth families. We also consult with the advisors about the parties' equity incentives, such as restricted stock units."
Specialized financial neutrals also address other family needs.
Read MoreGrieving over, widows must grow
Gigi Robson, certified public accountant and owner of Respond, which specializes in divorces and business dissolutions, said she sees two major aspects to her role: "First, education; typically, one of the spouses is less financially savvy than the other," she said. "And secondly, it's for the children; parents need to learn to work financially together for years."