A "Court Free" approach to divorce and separation
COLLABORATIVE FAMILY LAW
Family Law with a twist - for separated and divorcing couples interested in a non-adversarial form of alternative dispute resolution. Both spouses and their attorneys agree to work collaboratively to reach a divorce settlement without going to court. Call today to find out if this approach is right for you.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS COLLABORATIVE FAMILY LAW?
Collaborative law is an alternative form of dispute resolution for married couples seeking separation and/or divorce. In a Collaborative divorce, each spouse is represented by his or her own collaborative attorney who facilitates the collaborative process of reaching a negotiated settlement. Both sides agree that information will be shared openly, all parties will act in good faith and - most importantly - the matter will be resolved outside court.
WHY CHOOSE A COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE?
Privacy, control and affordability are three striking advantages that differentiate collaborative family law from traditional family law. Participation in a collaborative divorce is voluntary and private, which allows both parties to freely participate in the solving their own family issues without being forced into mandatory court proceedings or litigate their sensitive family matters in a public forum.
Additionally, the cost of resolving a separation through collaborative divorce is more affordable than most traditional family law proceedings due to the predictability of the process. With the possibility of extensive and time consuming litigation removed from the equation, attorneys can offer more competitive rates for collaborative law clients.
IS IT RIGHT FOR ME?
Collaborative family law is not for everyone. Collaborative divorce is appropriate for spouses who are committed to voluntarily working toward resolving post-separation legal issues. The collaborative process requires both spouses to be open and honest with the exchange of information and for both spouses to maintain a commitment to reaching a negotiated settlement without going to court.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
First, both spouses decide collaborative divorce is right for their family. Each spouse retains a family lawyer who includes collaborative law in their practice area. Next, both parties and their attorneys will meet (both privately and collectively) in a series of meetings. During these meetings, information will be voluntarily exchanged, issues will be identified and resolutions will be sought. In some cases, additional neutral professionals (such as child custody specialists, accountants and psychologists) are retained to assist the parties in overcoming hurdles in negotiations and reaching optimum results. Once a settlement is reached, an agreement will be drafted to reflect the parties decisions. Both parties and their attorneys will review and sign the agreement, which is then filed with the court.
WHAT IF IT DOESN'T WORK?
Attorneys who practice collaborative law are trained and experienced in guiding clients toward a negotiated settlement. In the event that attempts at a collaborative settlement are unsuccessful, both attorneys must withdraw from the case and cannot represent the parties in any future litigation that may arise.