FOCUS ON THE FUTURE, NOT THE FIGHT
This cooperative team approach preserves families by enabling couples to peacefully resolve conflict. To work with an attorney and other professionals to avoid litigation and achieve a settlement agreement that works for your family, contact our firm today.
YOU CAN END YOUR MARRIAGE PEACEFULLY
Typically, when people think about divorce, they think about hostility, bitterness and resentment. Conventional litigated divorce exacerbates these feelings. Fortunately, there is a way for you and your spouse to work together toward a mutually beneficial agreement.
Collaborative divorce is a client centered, negotiation based, team approach to divorce that gives you control over your own future. It allows you and your spouse to find constructive ways to resolve the issues, rather than a judge dictating the outcome. The collaborative process fosters an atmosphere of respect and problem-solving that is simply not possible when engaged in an adversarial court battle. The collaborative process involves open, honest communication to better understand the interests of each party; thus, leading to the most beneficial solution for your family.
THE COLLABORATIVE PROCESS
Stage 1 − INITIAL STEPS: Collaborative divorce uses a team approach designed to let you work with people who are specifically trained to handle certain issues. The initial phase of the collaborative process involves:
Arranging a meeting with the divorcing couple and their collaboratively trained attorneys; and
Signing a collaborative law participation agreement, in which the parties agree to resolve all the issues pertaining to the divorce without litigation. If a settlement cannot be reached, the attorneys must withdraw and the parties will have to find new representation to complete the divorce process; and
Identifying the team, this includes each spouse’s collaborative attorney and some or all of the following; a financial professional, a child specialist and a divorce coach.
Stage 2 − GATHERING INFORMATION: The goal here is for everyone involved to understand the emotional, financial and behavioral features that make your family unique. It involves:
Understanding the marital estate, including assets, debts, income and the needs of your children, if you have any; and
Learning to listen to each other and to the experts; and
Open discussions about the needs and interests of each party.
Step 3 − CREATING OPTIONS: The collaborative process is about respecting and understanding the interests of both yourself and your spouse. With the help of divorce coaches and the rest of the team, you are empowered to:
Discuss possible resolutions to child custody, property division and all other issues; and
Evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of each resolution in a safe, respectful environment.
Step 4 − REACHING A SOLUTION: Without the stress and emotional harm caused by a long and costly court battle, it is often possible to reach a mutually beneficial agreement more quickly and much more peaceably. This final stage is about:
Detailing a negotiated settlement that meets your family’s needs; and
Finalizing the agreement.