Collaborative practice is a voluntary dispute resolution process that empowers separating and divorcing couples to reach creative resolutions without ever stepping foot in a courtroom.
Unfortunately, a court-based divorce is premised on conflict and often focuses on finding fault. If your goal is to punish your spouse, collaborative law is not a good fit for you. However, if you place a high value on putting family first and handling conflicts with integrity, collaborative law may be right for you. Here are the core elements of the collaborative process:
Both parties are represented by a collaboratively trained lawyer whose representation terminates upon the undertaking of any contested court proceeding.
The parties may choose to engage collaboratively trained neutrals, such as a child specialist, divorce coach or a financial professional, who will work together with you and your spouse as a team.
Both parties pledge, in writing, to disclose all financial and other relevant information, to communicate respectfully, and to act in good faith while negotiating a settlement.
By avoiding court, the parties’ personal and financial information remains confidential.
Negotiations take place in structured settlement meetings, with the parties’ attorneys and the other professionals on the team. There are no threatening letters and no stressful court appearances.
Once the parties understand all of the issues and reach a mutually acceptable resolution, a written agreement is prepared by the attorneys. Once it is signed, the agreement becomes binding and enforceable.
In most cases, the collaborative process is less expensive than traditional litigation.
To learn more about how we can help you with a collaborative approach, contact me today.
“There’s a trick to a ‘graceful exit.’ It begins with the vision to recognize that a job, a life stage, or a relationship is over – and let it go. It means leaving what’s over without denying its validity or its past importance in our lives. It involves a sense of future, a belief that every exit line is an entry, that we are moving up, rather than out.”
-- Ellen Goodman