Collaborative Family Law Practice
All aspects of divorce and other issues relating to family law are of a sensitive personal matter. No single approach is right for everyone; however, many families or couples do find the no-court process known as Collaborative Family Practice / Collaborative Divorce a superior alternative to the litigation approach of conventional divorce.
If you hold these values, then resolving your dispute through the Collaborative Family Law process is likely to be the best option for you:
- I want to resolve my legal issues respectfully, even when we disagree.
- I want the needs of our children to be a priority.
- The needs of both my spouse and myself require equal consideration, and I will listen objectively to those needs.
- I can be ethical and transparent with the information necessary to create options that is jointly beneficial.
- It is more important to reach beyond today’s anger and frustration so that I can help plan for the future.
- I choose to maintain control of the dissolution process with my spouse instead of leaving such important decisions to the court.
- I believe that working creatively and cooperatively solves problems.
If this alternative path sounds and feels comfortable for you, consider speaking to Linda I. Braithwaite, or another collaboratively trained attorney, divorce coach, child specialist, or financial professional about your situation to help you make the decision.
Is Collaborative Family Law Right for You?
The expertise of a diverse group of independent professionals, including attorneys, financial advisors, and mental health professionals help to ensure that the needs of your family as a whole are addressed. Your needs are identified and the right team of professionals are made available to you, as needed.
In the collaborative process, the parties to a divorce agree to avoid litigation and resolve all issues through negotiation. The parties are committed to full disclosure of all relevant matters including assets and income for support, alimony, and equitable distribution purposes. They also commit to a caring and principled approach to co-parenting problem solving consistent with their children’s best interest.
What are the Potential Benefits of Collaborative Family Law?
- Mutually agreed upon settlement
- Atmosphere of cooperation
- Anxiety reduction
- Retaining control of the settlement process
- No adversarial environment
- Greater privacy and confidentiality
- Savings of time and money
How do I start a Collaborative Law Process?
Share this information with your spouse and encourage him or her to also hire an attorney who is trained in or familiar with and committed to the collaborative law process. The attorneys can then confer and schedule the first four-way meeting to review your situation and sign a participation agreement if the collaborative approach is appropriate for your case. It would be determined at that time if and when other neutral professionals, such as a mental health professional or financial advisor, should be involved to assist with issues in their respective areas of expertise.