Collaborative law is an alternative way of dealing with divorce and resolving child custody and complex property and financial matters. The collaborative process can be effective and much less expensive than litigating your issues in court.
Collaborative law is essentially a series of face-to-face negotiations outside the court system where the spouses work together through their collaborative lawyers to creatively resolve divorce, property, and child custody issues in the best interests of all involved. While the collaborative process is proceeding, the spouses agree not to pursue litigation, and further, to provide full disclosure of the information necessary to reach a fair and equitable resolution.
If, however, the collaborative process does not yield a satisfactory result, the parties may move forward with litigation. But if that happens, they must start over with new lawyers. Attorneys representing parties in a collaborative law process are barred from representing them in litigation.
The collaborative process provides many practical benefits to the parties, including:
- A higher level of control over the divorce and custody process. The parties have the power to set their own timetable and agenda, and, in fact, the collaborative process is typically much faster than going to court.
- The ability of the parties to decide their future, rather than having a result imposed on them by a judge or jury who do not know them or their family dynamic.
- Working within a collaborative environment that fosters creative ideas for a fair and equitable settlement.
- Focusing on their children and post-divorce relationships. There is a higher probability the parties will emerge from the collaborative process with a better post-divorce relationship, which will only enhance their co-parenting skills and their children’s welfare.
- A committed investment in their decisions, making it less likely that the parties will wind up back in court seeking modification of the divorce decree or enforcement of court orders that are not being followed.
- A higher level of privacy and confidentiality. The collaborative process precludes the need for the parties to disclose their finances and air their dirty laundry in open court.
Choosing the right lawyer to guide you through the collaborative process is critical. As a board certified family lawyer, mediator, and CPA, I have the expertise and experience to make the collaborative law process efficiently and productively work for you and your family.