For married couples who have decided to divorce, court is not always the answer.
Collaborative Law (also called Collaborative Practice or Collaborative Divorce) is a process that provides an alternative
to court. Collaborative Law takes into account the idea that litigation in a court room can create or exacerbate problems
for couples facing divorce or separation, and uses a unique structure to avoid those problems.
The Collaborative Law Process
Each couple is unique, and
each couple facing divorce is facing their own unique problems and needs during that process. The typical litigation structure
for divorce works well for some couples, but for others it can cause more damage than it prevents. Divorce in the court can
rely heavily on emphasizing the negative aspects of each of the divorcing parties. Lawyers in a litigated divorce have incentive
to get an outcome that looks good for their clients on paper, but, with respect to divorce, what looks good on paper does
not always translate into a good outcome in reality.
Collaborative law is designed to minimize conflict and to work towards resolution. Each spouse
has their own Collaborative attorney during the process, and they can also bring in other professionals as needed throughout
the process. This can include Mental Health Professionals, Financial Experts, and Mediators. The couple and their attorneys
work towards a tailored, future-focused settlement that addresses the need of the couple.
Is Collaborative Law Right For You?
The Collaborative Divorce
Process is not right for every couple facing divorce. Collaborative law may be right for you if you and your spouse are invested
in dissolving your marriage while focusing on the future and preserving your respect for one another.
Consider Collaborative Law
if you and your spouse:
- Believe that you are able to focus on a positive solution for the entire family.
- Value personal responsibility in resolving conflict highly
to preserve a respectful working relationship both during and after the divorce process
- Understand the need to disclose full and accurate financial information with one another
- Feel that it is important to protect your children from the potential harm caused by litigation