How Does The Collaborative Process Work?
The goal of collaborative law is to negotiate settlements that benefit the entire family, while avoiding litigation. At the Law Offices of Maribeth Blessing, LLC, we are at the forefront of collaborative law in Pennsylvania. Over the years, we have helped many families navigate the divorce process in a peaceful, effective manner.
Step 1: Each side gets an attorney who is trained in collaborative law. Attorney Maribeth Blessing is a member of Collaborative Law Professionals of Southeastern Pennsylvania. This organization is committed to helping clients find a peaceful way to resolve conflict. They are an experienced group of independent lawyers, financial specialists, communication coaches and child specialists who are licensed mental health professionals, all trained in the Collaborative Process. There are also adjunct members of the group that offer other services to collaborative clients as needed for mutual valuations or mutual needs, such as business evaluators, forensic accountants, real estate agents and brokers or other specialized services.
Step 2: Each side signs a collaborative agreement. This agreement includes the following terms:
- The parties waive their right to litigate and agree to abide by the outcome of the process.
- The parties enter into an agreement that requires them to exercise good faith and fairness and provide a full and complete disclosure of their assets and liabilities.
- The parties waive their right to confidentiality amongst the members of their team and commit to providing all required financial records.
- The rights and obligations of each team member in the event the collaborative process does not produce an agreement.
- The parties commit to sharing any needed experts, such as financial analysts and child psychologists. This keeps overall costs down.
Step 3: The parties share all pertinent information. This step may require the assistance of outside professionals, such as financial experts. The parties must disclose all information with complete transparency.
Step 4: A series of meetings will be scheduled. At each meeting, a series of key issues will be discussed. This stage of the process can also involve the use of outside professionals, such as cash-flow evaluators, real estate appraisers, child psychologists and parent evaluators. Parties may be assigned tasks to complete in between meetings, with the expectation tasks will be complete and reported upon at the next team meeting.
Step 5: A negotiated settlement will be produced. This settlement agreement will outline all the decisions made throughout the process. Both parties will understand all the terms, including their individual rights and responsibilities. The legal team will submit the agreement to the court for final approval.
Learn More About The Collaborative Process
If you are interested in using collaborative law to complete your divorce or other family law matter, contact the Rockledge Law Offices of Maribeth Blessing, LLC. We will review the process with you and help you determine if collaborative law is the right solution for your family. Call us at 215-392-0849 or 866-603-8691 to schedule a consultation.