Is Collaborative Law the Right Choice?
Today nearly half of all marriages end in divorce. Unfortunately our adversarial justice system simply doesn’t work well for divorcing spouses. Traditional proceedings often become protracted fights that are emotionally and financially devastating for everyone. A full blown divorce case can take years in litigation and cost tens of thousands of dollars. Even when a couple is able to settle a divorce case out-of-court, it is often in the shadow of a trial under conditions of considerable tension and anxiety.
Is a collaborative family lawyer different than just using a divorce attorney?
- Both collaborative lawyers understand how to reach creative settlements. Your lawyer will be at your side, explaining issues and helping you to reach a resolution by mutual participation and agreement.
- Both of the attorneys and clients agree in advance to work only toward a settlement acceptable to both clients. Litigation can never be threatened. Neither you nor your spouse will be permitted to control the process, not play games or take advantage of each other. The process is voluntary so there an agreement by clients and attorneys for voluntary disclosure, eliminating formal methods of obtaining information and procedural delays.
- Both collaborative lawyers will not have succeeded unless they can help you create a win-win solution that takes into account each spouse’s needs and interests.
- Both collaborative lawyers work as a cooperative team rather than working against each other as “opposing parties”.
- Both collaborative lawyer have special training in Mediation, Negotiation and the Collaborative Family Law Process of dispute resolution.
Is collaborative family law the right choice for me and my spouse?
Yes, if you and your spouse…
- Want a civilized and respectful resolution of issues
- Want education, guidance and legal advice without the risk of an elevated court battle
- Want to work through emotions in order to make comprehensive legal agreements regarding custody, support and property division
- Want the best family relationship now and in the future for you and your children without the harmful lasting scars of a court battle
- Want the best co-parenting and time sharing plan that works for you and “your family”
- Want to take responsibility for handling your conflict with integrity
- Want privacy and to keep your financial information out of public court records
- Want the opportunity for you and your spouse to have a say in how your agreement is written because you both understand your family better than anyone else and want an agreement produced to suit the unique needs of your family
- Want to achieve reasonable goals and a reasonable agreement, rather than achieving a financial or child placement victory no matter the human or financial costs
- Want final resolution that avoids the pain and expense of having to return to court multiple times
- Want and desire a vision for you and your family that extends long beyond the immediate matter at hand and into the adulthood years of your children
The collaborative law process will work well if you and your spouse are determined to behave in a respectful, ethical manner towards each other throughout the process. You both need to value a negotiated solution that meets your needs now and in the future. You both will need to focus your energy toward creative problem solving rather than toward revenge.