Collaborative Law for Family Law Matters

Collaborative Law is a process in which both parties have their own attorneys and agree not to go to court. This process also brings in allied professionals such as coaches, financial neutrals and child specialists to help both parties design a settlement that meets their needs. The collaborative process is designed to be less expensive than litigation and often results in quicker settlements.

There is a downside to this approach however, as it is not regulated like the practice of law and anyone can call themselves a collaborative attorney without having any qualifications or training. It is important for a client to choose their attorney carefully and be aware of the differences in the collaborative process from other options such as mediation, which is regulated by our Supreme Court.

The first thing that both parties will have to do in order to participate in a collaborative case is sign a participation agreement. The participation agreement will lay out the rules of the process and one of those rules is that if either party decides to litigate the matter they must retain a different lawyer. This is meant to create an incentive for both parties and the collaborative professionals to work hard to settle the matter outside of court.

During the process, the parties and their lawyers Collaborative Law will meet on a regular basis to discuss their priorities and concerns in an open setting. The collaborative process is a flexible and dynamic process that can be tailored to fit the needs of each family. During these meetings the parties will discuss everything from property division to parenting issues. As each meeting goes by the parties will make progress towards resolving their issues.

At the final meeting, documents will be signed detailing the agreements reached in the collaborative process. Then the parties will work with their attorneys to implement those agreements. Sometimes this may involve a lot of work, such as if the parties need to sell their home. But other times the implementation of these agreements is a matter of weeks or even days.

When choosing to resolve a family law matter through the collaborative process, the advantages can be enormous. For example, the cost is much lower than traditional litigation, which can save thousands of dollars. The process can be more private and confidential than mediation or conventional friendly negotiations as well. Unlike litigation, most collaborative cases are settled within a few months as opposed to several months or even years in some instances with traditional litigation.

The other advantage of the collaborative process is that it tends to lead to a better co-parenting relationship down the road. This is because of the reduced conflict and more communication that often happens in the collaborative process. This can be beneficial for children who are adjusting to the divorce and the new role of sharing their parents’ time. It can also be a benefit to the entire family and community. As a result, this is an option that many families are beginning to explore.