• Collaborative Divorce is an innovative, cooperative process based on the following principles:
• a commitment to respecting the priorities of both spouses and their children
• a pledge by each party not to litigate
• the voluntary and free exchange of information
• It is an alternative approach to traditional (adversarial) divorce that supports the needs of both parents and children. It allows you to move through a difficult transition in your life with less emotional harm to you and your family.
• Collaborative practice takes place outside of the courts, involves attorneys and, if necessary, a divorce team of financial experts, process coaches and child specialists who guide couples through an array of decisions about their post-divorce options and financial futures. The multi-disciplinary approach is not required, but can be a major benefit to the process.
• In this non-adversarial process, there are four people in the room: each spouse is represented by a Collaborative Lawyer who assists in the negotiation. There is no mediator or judge.
• Each person retains his or her own collaborative attorney to advise and assist in cooperative face to face meetings, negotiating an agreement on all issues. You are fully and individually represented throughout the process.
Why Choose Collaborative Divorce?
• In Collaborative Divorce, it is not about who has the best attorney and decisions are not made by an impersonal court system. You control how your divorce is handled and you control the outcome because you understand your family better than anyone else.
• The Collaborative approach is a private and confidential approach; your personal relationship issues are not aired in a public courtroom.
• It is a smart way to manage the turmoil that often accompanies a traditional litigated divorce and minimize the negative effects divorce can have on children.
• The non-combative atmosphere diminishes hostilities, allowing the parties to preserve what remains of their relationship and continue as partners in parenting.
• The process helps divorcing couples reach a financial settlement that is respectful to both parties according to their needs – both now and in the future.
• Collaborative practice is popular with divorcing couples who own businesses or have complex investments. The Collaborative Divorce team includes financial experts who can help you understand the financial implications of settlement options with information, analysis and projections.
• By keeping the dispute outside the courts and using the professional services of collaborative specialists efficiently, collaborative divorce generally costs less than a litigated divorce.
Who Can Benefit from Collaborative Divorce?
• People interested in moving on with their lives rather than perpetuating a battle in court.
• Individuals who want to avoid courtroom drama, but feel more comfortable being represented in the negotiations process rather than relying on just a mediator.
• People who want to take responsibility for handling their conflict with integrity.
• People willing to deal straightforwardly with any issues that arise.
• Partners who can negotiate fairly and conduct themselves respectfully.
What Happens If the Collaborative Process Breaks Down?
• If an agreement is not reached, the collaborative lawyers must withdraw from the case. Each party must retain a new divorce attorney to litigate in court whatever they cannot agree upon.
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