How Does Collaborative Law Work?
The collaborative law process is done outside of the family court system, allowing you and your spouse or the other party to work out the issues you disagree on at your own pace. It consists of a structured way to negotiate a settlement privately without the stress, time, and money required for litigation. It is based on a commitment to the process and to working together for the benefit of everyone involved, especially the children.
Through four-way meetings between both parties and their attorneys, the focus is on cooperation and problem-solving that will achieve the best possible resolution of the issues at hand. Other professionals may be used to facilitate the process, such as financial experts, mental health experts, real estate experts, and more. The process takes place in a neutral location, such as an office, which is a safe space for both parties and the meetings are confidential.
The process is started with both parties and their attorneys signing a Collaborative Law Participation Agreement. This Agreement puts everyone on board with the primary goal of making every effort and using every resource available to reach an agreement. Most Agreements bar moving to litigation and, if the process fails, the parties in disagreement will generally have to find new attorneys to represent them in court.
Our job is to solve problems. That may involve going to court, reaching a settlement, or taking a more patient approach. All of these strategies can resolve a dispute on terms favorable to the client.