Collaborative law is a very effective way for partners to mediate a separation or divorce outside of the courtroom while still allowing them to retain individual lawyers who will remain at their sides throughout the negotiation process. In collaborative law, the lawyers are also trained as mediators and, while retained to advocate for their individual client, they come to the table with the goal of reaching an equitable settlement for both parties.
Before beginning a collaborative divorce, the parties sign an agreement stating that all communications will be confidential and that neither party will take the other to court. However, should the mediation break down for any reason, the parties are free to then proceed to litigation, but they must do so using new attorneys.
Another feature of collaborative law is that outside professionals are frequently brought into the process to help guide the negotiations. At the parties’ discretion, Financial Advisors, Child Therapists, and Individual Counselors may participate at different stages of the collaborative process to help coach the parties and bring the negotiations to closure.
While it is more expensive than mediation because separate attorneys are engaged, collaborative law may be a very useful option for parties who don’t feel comfortable speaking up for themselves during a mediated discussion or believe that having an advocate next to them will help level the power imbalance that exists in the partnership.
As a collaborative divorce lawyer, I am trained to work for you as well as with your spouse’s attorney in a way that protects your interests while moving towards resolution.