What is Collaborative Law?
Collaborative is a team approach where each party has a collaboratively trained attorney and a divorce coach (financial professional or mental health professional) that works together to respectfully resolve your divorce.
Collaborative Law is a welcome concept to many who are looking for representation but still do not want to litigate their case in court. It is an effective and powerful way for divorcing couples to reach fair and equitable resolutions using skilled professionals and avoiding the time and cost of litigation. People can use the collaborative law process to resolve all of their issues, including parenting plans, property division and support. This process recognizes that divorce is more than just a legal procedure but a time of intense distress and emotion that can be challenging for both parties and especially children.
Once both you and your spouse have each chosen and retained a collaborative lawyer to represent you, the “Team” is usually assembled. The “Team” is dedicated to achieving an amicable resolution to your divorce without going to court, and consists of:
- You and Your spouse
- The Attorneys
- (usually) A Professional such as a mental health professional (MHP)
- (or) a Financial professional
An agreement is signed by you in the beginning that you will work collaboratively together, and if the negotiations break down you will not use the same lawyers to litigate your dispute. This agreement encourages you and your spouse to work together.
Collaborative law is conducted by agreed-upon scheduled meetings between the team that are referred to as “four-way” or “five-way” meetings. How simple or how complex your case will determine the number of meetings you may have in order to resolve your case in its entirety.
The Goal: Resolve Disputes Respectfully
A collaborative case, like mediation, encourages you to resolve your disputes through positive dialogue, compromise and a desire to protect yourself and your children from the financial and emotional harm associated with litigation.
The Benefits Include:
- More control over the outcome
- Less stress and anxiety
- Confidential, out of court settlement
- A team which focuses on the well-being of you and your family
- Creative and flexible solutions to fit your needs