Collaborative Law is a court-free alternative to litigation that seeks an ideal resolution for all parties involved.
Instead of spending time and money gathering and disputing information in court, Collaborative Law allows each party to focus on creating a mutual solution, with the commitment not to resort to traditional litigation. Instead, they work with collaboratively trained lawyers and other Collaborative Professional Team members to attempt to resolve their issues in a fair and rational manner.
Collaborative Law is a simple, yet powerful, concept.
- Parties have their own collaborative lawyer. Each party has his/her own legal support to make sure their interests are served and their legal negotiation goes well.
- Collaborative lawyers have special training. Special training in interest-based negotiation gives parties confidence that the lawyers are providing principled legal support and guidance to help the parties negotiate in good faith.
- Lawyers are committed to settlement. Your lawyers disqualify themselves from taking your case to court. This seals their commitment to working hard you reach a fair, durable agreement and not opting out when things get tough.
- Parties have access to specialists with special training. The parties may hire other Collaborative Professional Team members such neutral financial specialists, neutral child specialists, and coaches, all of whom have special collaborative law training. They all disqualify themselves from helping you in court if you can’t settle at the table.
- Communications at the settlement table are confidential. You can speak freely and explore creative options for settlement without worry that your thoughts and ideas will end up being used against you in court. There are a few, important exceptions to this that your collaborative lawyer will discuss with you before your collaborative case starts.
- Parties can ensure the highest level of privacy. Collaborative Law is a private process, taking place over a series of private meetings in one lawyer’s office, and the details of your settlement are most often not filed with the courts.
- Decisions are made after information is voluntarily shared. The parties agree to voluntarily disclose all information that is needed so each can make the best possible decision for themselves and their family.
- Interests, goals, and values are considered. Through a series of meetings, the parties, their lawyers, and the rest of the Collaborative Professional Team identify the interests, goals, and values of each of the parties, including their children. This allows the parties to transparently build agreements that are acceptable to them and the courts.
- Children are paramount. The process is particularly effective at recognizing and meeting the unique needs of children during a difficult and turbulent time.
Collaborative Law is not conflict-free, but it provides a more amicable setting to resolve conflict in a meaningful way.
Most people find that Collaborative Law brings dignity and respect to the complexities of the divorce process. Divorce can bring high emotions, negative feelings, and a sense of loss. Collaborative Law helps address these things by building a better foundation for future communication and allowing you to maintain control of what’s agreeable to you.
Many family law issues can be successfully resolved through collaboration.
Collaborative law is most common in divorce cases. But any family law issue can be resolved through a collaborative law process, such as:
- Relationship agreements, such a Cohabitation Agreements, Pre-marital Agreements, Post-marital Agreements, and Separation Agreements and Contracts
- Parenting agreements, such as parenting plans and child support plans for married, divorced and never married parents, grandparents or other relatives caring for children who want to establish or modify terms
- Family business agreements to start, end or modify family-owned business arrangements
- Ending of relationships, through separation or divorce, including parentage, paternity, same-sex, and LGBTQ families
The best way to find out if this approach is best for you is to schedule a Consultation with Nancy. Collaborative Law is not the right approach for every client, and Nancy will help you evaluate all your process options to help you find the right fit for your unique situation. Call 360-816-2246 or schedule online.