Category: Collaborative Law
Questions/Answers
Which is a better option for my case - Mediation or Collaboration?
Clients often ask if they should mediate or go through the collaborative process. It may help to honestly answer the following questions: Q: Do I feel confident that I can effectively negotiate for myself? A: If you feel comfortable negotiating on your own behalf then collaborative law may be unnecessary. If you feel you could benefit from the assistance of an attorney then collaborative practice may be better for you than mediation. Q: Is it important for me to have legal advice as I go through my divorce? A: Collaborative practice provides you with the benefit of a knowledgeable attorney who can advise you at every step of the way. You can also have an attorney in mediation, but the attorney is with in all phases of the collaborative case.
Is Collaborative Divorce right for me? I am very angry over the circumstances of our separation.
Anger is a normal feeling during divorce. If you didn’t feel angry there would be something wrong! Usually, one person has been unhappy & angry for a period of time. The other is often in shock and has to deal with lots of emotions sorrow, fear and certainly anger. Whether you or the other is the angry one, it’s never easy. Anger builds up without your knowing it and will cause you (or your spouse) to lash out. Anger can be expressed in a collaborative negotiation and it is a valuable tool for shaping a better divorce agreement. In any negotiation, anger is a clue that something important has not yet been expressed. In collaborative practice, it can be explored and understood. I want to hear how you are each feeling and to understand why you (or they) are angry. Anger gives us a key to use to shape a divorce agreement.
How do I start the collaborative divorce process?
Attorneys who practice collaborative divorce form "collaborative practice groups. A first step is to identify a collaborative practice group near you. The International Academy of Collaborative Professionals keeps a record of these groups that can be referenced on line. A second step is to contact a collaborative attorney in a group and make an appointment to discuss whether the collaborative approach makes sense for your situation. You may want to invite your spouse to attend this information session as well. A third step is to discuss with your spouse the collaborative option and determine if the two of you are in agreement to proceed with it. The final step is for you and your spouse to each retain collaborative attorneys. You and your respective attorneys enter into a Collaborative Law Participation Agreement and the process begins.
What are some of the benefits of collaborative divorce?
A collaborative divorce is much cheaper than a traditional, adversarial divorce, even including the cost of a collaborative divorce team. Since the couple will negotiate the issues during the collaboration, time is not spent arguing under the formal rules of court. It is generally faster than traditional litigation. Not only will a couple be able to schedule a collaborative divorce session many months before their case would come to trial, but the sessions themselves generally take less time than a case in court. Collaborative divorce is much less emotional and less chaotic than a traditional divorce, while being a little more structured than a mediation.
Who all is involved in a collaborative divorce?
Ideally, there is the "collaborative divorce team," which consists of the divorce coach, who acts in much the same way as a mediator, to facilitate discussion and defuse highly charged issues; the child specialist, who helps children express their concerns while providing the parents information; the financial specialist, who assists the participants with the financial aspects of divorce; and the lawyers who have with experience in collaborative law. The team works together to resolve legal problems (not all these professionals are required to proceed with the collaborative law solution).
Helpful Tips and Facts
Collaborative Divorce
Participating in Collaborative divorce can keep tensions low, conflicts at a minimum and positive movement at a maximum. This is extremely helpful in divorce cases that involve high net worth or celebrities.
The Collaborative Divorce
Longer and slower than mediation, a collaborative divorce is still cheaper than litigation.
Choosing the Collaborative Approach to Divorce
Keep in mind that this type of legal approach is obviously not applicable to all divorce matters. However, when employed in the appropriate case, the Settlement Agreement reached is almost always more satisfactory and effective to both spouses, because each has had a full opportunity to be a part of the developmental stages of the final outcome.
Different Ways to One End
Arbitration, mediation and collaborative law are three different ways to one end. Each of these paths is less expensive than litigation and results in both spouses resolving their issues outside the courtroom.