Collaborative Divorce is a relatively recent process developed by visionary family law attorneys and family therapists to provide families with a confidential, non-threatening, out-of-court approach to resolving all aspects of divorce. The parties jointly decide to enter into the collaborative process. Participating Family Law collaborative attorneys, mental health professionals, financial professionals and child specialists are specially trained in the process. The goal of the collaborative model is to help bring parties through the transition of divorce with integrity, respect and the ability to forge comprehensive, mutually satisfying agreements.
The participating professionals work as a team. All team members (including the parties) pledge they will not pursue litigation as a means of conducting negotiations, nor will they threaten to do so. If the process breaks down because one party feels obligated to turn to the courts for relief, both lawyers and all professional team members must withdraw and thereafter cannot represent either party against the other. Because everyone agrees in advance that win-win solutions are the preferred goal, a positive focus emerges rather than the traditional suspicious, distrustful fear driven focus that often drives litigated disputes.
Team members include the parties, the lawyers assisting the parties and the mental health professionals serving as coaches to help the parties navigate the emotional aspects of separation and divorce. If the team members feel it would be advisable to bring in experts to assist with specific issues such as financial accountings, appraisals, cash flow analyses or child related issues, the team will mutually agree upon and select a collaboratively trained expert to join the team.
Each party's interests, concerns, needs, priorities and values are taken into consideration in developing effective and creative solutions that will support and respect each family member.
The collaborative divorce process is a powerful interest based dispute-resolution tool that is growing in popularity as its effectiveness in helping families find creative solutions to their unique family transition issues becomes more widely known. If you are interested in learning more about collaborative divorce, contact our office to make an appointment with collaboratively trained family law attorney, Patti Abramson, to evaluate whether it is a good fit for you and your family.