If you are in the process of a divorce, collaborative law is a useful option for conflict resolution to avoid a fight in court. It is an alternative option to litigation that works toward negotiating an amicable agreement between both parties.
The parties need to act in good faith for the success of this type of case. This process may be useful for preserving relationships after the divorce as one of the main goals is ensuring both sides feel the terms of the agreement are acceptable.
The collaborative process
In collaborative law, both parties have individual representation. The parties each sign a participation agreement that includes the agreed-upon rules and they need to disclose all relevant information, such as assets and income. Lawyers may assist in providing problem-solving options and support a balanced final agreement.
Collaborative law may be beneficial for the entire family. Communication is key in this collaborative method. The process involves a face-to-face meeting between both parties and the lawyers where you will discuss how to move forward with a solution and asset division that is mutually beneficial.
The difference from mediation
In the mediation process, a neutral party handles the negotiations for both parties and does not offer legal advice to either person. Collaborative law involves each party having a lawyer that provides advice throughout the process, and the lawyers are capable of filing documents and finalizing the process, which a mediator is not able to do.
Next steps if unsuccessful
If you are unable to use collaborative law to come to a mutually acceptable agreement, then the next course of action is litigation. You may need to find new legal counsel to handle the litigation proceedings, as the collaborative law attorneys may need to withdraw from the case.
Success through collaborative law
Collaborative law is a useful option if your goal is to have an amicable end to your marriage while working together in a confidential environment. Focusing on communication and being open about finances helps create a more positive environment that satisfies both parties.