A "no court" process for resolving your family law matter
The Collaborative process offers an alternative method of handling a divorce, paternity, or other family law matter. The Collaborative approach is a goal-oriented process that focuses on open and respectful communication, sharing all relevant information, and a commitment to resolving your family matter outside of the courtroom. It is an increasingly popular method that facilitates respect among the parties and allows parties to work with professionals to achieve the best possible settlement in a way that focuses on each party's goals and the best interests of the children (if applicable).
Three essential elements are important in the Collaborative process:
Shared Information: Both sides agree up front to share all information equally. If the divorce requires that new information be acquired (for example, appraising a house), then the parties agree to jointly hire a neutral expert, rather than having each pay his or her own expert and then arguing about whose values are correct.
No Court: Both parties, and both attorneys, promise that they will not go to court as part of the divorce. In fact, the retainer agreements for each attorney contain a clause that if either the Husband or the Wife wishes to go to court, that both attorneys must immediately withdraw from the case.
Respect for Shared Goals: At the outset of the Collaborative process, both sides and their attorneys sit down to discuss shared goals, such as minimizing conflict in front of the children, preserving good relationships for each parent with the children, ensuring that each person has sufficient assets to move on and build a new life, and etc. Both sides commit to respecting those goals throughout the process and doing as much as possible to ensure that the shared goals are met.
Another advantage of the Collaborative process is the team approach that it provides. In our community, we have Collaboratively trained mental health and financial professionals that often play a role in Collaborative cases to provide for the best possible outcomes.
We can discuss whether the Collaborative process might be right for you during your initial consultation. In the meantime, for more information on Collaborative Divorce, consult the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP) and the Bloomington Association of Collaborative Professionals.
Disclaimer: This summary is not intended to be comprehensive, and should not be construed as legal advice for your particular situation. Nothing in this website is intended to serve as or substitute for legal representation.