Collaborative Law and Divorce

The Collaborative Law Process avoids costly litigation by finding solutions that prioritize the ideals of both parties and their children.

Here are eight simple points to help you understand Collaborative Law.  Let us know if you have any questions.

  • The goal or purpose of Collaborative Law is to offer attorneys and their clients a structured, non-adversarial alternative to an adversarial system of dispute resolution.
  • Both clients retain their own specially-trained lawyer to assist them in resolving family issues fairly and equitably without going to court or threatening court action.
  • The parties agree to utilize neutral appraisers and evaluators where appropriate and to avoid subjecting their children to court-appointed forensics.
  • Detailed and complete disclosure is required. Both parties sign a binding agreement to disclose all documents and information that relate to the issues, and to do so early, fully and voluntarily. Hiding documents and stonewalling are not permitted. Doing so will cause the withdrawal of the attorney representing the person hiding documents.
  • A successful Collaborative Law process is often quicker, less costly, more individualized, less stressful, and almost invariably more satisfying. At its best, it is a process driven by mutual understanding.
  • If either party decides to litigate after beginning the Collaborative Law process, both parties must hire new lawyers for court. Neither attorney nor their firms are allowed to represent a collaborative client in contested litigation, but they may assist in uncontested matters such as completing the divorce. This commitment to the collaborative process assures that the focus is solely on a negotiated settlement. It frees the participants to be as creative as they want, without fear that their words will be used against them in Court.
  • With attorneys assisting in reaching a resolution, participants have built-in legal resources for experienced advice about the legal process and how a court might address the situation.