In Collaborative Practice - also known as Collaborative Law, Collaborative Process, and Collaborative Divorce - each spouse is represented by his or her own collaborative attorney, whose aim is to settle the case outside of court support by finding well-informed, workable, and mutually agreeable solutions. Our collaborative practice supports clients in navigating divorce, custody disputes, pre-marital agreements, post-marital agreements, and other family law matters. Depending on the clients' needs, other collaborative professionals such as mental health professionals (serving as coaches and/or child specialists) and financial professionals may also join the collaborative team to support the parties in reaching settlement.
In conventional litigation, it is the attorney's role to achieve the best possible outcome for his or her client, with "best outcome" usually defined solely in terms of the final judgment. In Collaborative Practice, attorneys are committed to achieving the best possible outcome for their clients, as well as the most peaceful and respectful divorce process practicable. To that end, collaborative attorneys utilize tools that help their clients avoid much of the heartache, expense, and stress that is typical of more adversarial methods. Collaborative attorneys recognize that in all divorces, and especially those where children are involved, a respectful and supportive process lays the groundwork for better communication and cooperation after divorce, which is of immeasurable benefit to the whole family.
An essential element of Collaborative Practice is that all clients and collaborative professionals agree at the outset that the case will be settled, not litigated. If for some reason the case cannot be settled, the attorneys and other professionals will withdraw, and the attorneys will assist the clients in finding new attorneys who will help them resolve the case through the traditional court system. This agreement is a cornerstone of the collaborative process, encouraging all parties to remain as respectful and cooperative as possible, even when negotiations get difficult.
If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about Collaborative Practice, please contact us.