Collaborative lawyers act as advocates for their respective clients but pledge to negotiate fairly and peacefully. Their purpose is to assist the parties in identifying and clarifying the issues that must be resolved. He or she will help to develop a constructive dialogue that examines each issue with a focus on the parties' needs, interests, and priorities.
The collaborative lawyers are specifically trained to help couples with communication problems.
Collaborative divorce is an alternative to adversarial proceedings or negotiations. All issues that would normally be addressed in adversarial proceedings or negotiations (child and spousal support, parenting arrangements, division of marital assets, tax implications) are discussed by the parties. Neither party should need to relinquish any of his or her entitlements, but instead of litigating issues, you and your spouse privately work through your differences with the goal of reaching an agreement that will best serve your present and future needs.
Yes. Collaborative Divorce is a voluntary process. This means that both you and your spouse must be willing participants. If you or your spouse are not happy with the progress, either one of you can withdraw at any time.
This is where Collaborative Divorce has great advantages. With a collaborative attorney representing each party, there is a greater certainty that each party's point of view will be fully expressed and heard . Where there may exist an imbalance of power, each party has a trusted advocate who understands the complexities of the issues and protects his or her interests.
Yes. Collaborative divorce is not appropriate for all couples. For example, collaborative divorce is not recommended in situations involving domestic violence. It is also not appropriate when one spouse refuses to participate honestly. In addition, if one spouse refuses to divulge all financial information or fails to cooperate with the lawyers' guidelines, collaborative law is not appropriate.
Through Collaborative divorce, you, your spouse, and your respective lawyers privately work through your differences and make decisions about your present and future needs. Generally, this process facilitates communication, promotes cooperation, reduces tension, and makes the inevitable separation easier. Collaborative divorce is also a cost-effective alternative to traditional divorce litigation.
Sessions usually last one to two hours. The number of sessions varies depending on the complexity of the issues and the needs of the parties. Successful collaboration divorce conferences usually take from three to 10 sessions.
The parties are charged on an hourly basis.