Collaborative Family Law (also known as Collaborative Divorce) is a specific method used to resolve divorces and other family law disputes without involving the court. The objective is to help clients work efficiently and effectively towards mutually beneficial solutions while minimizing the emotional impact of the divorce on the family. There are many benefits to this process:
Clients commit to be honest and transparent with each other.
All work is done in a private, supportive setting.
Clients learn how to communicate more effectively, which is essential if children are involved.
There is opportunity to create personalized, win-win solutions for dividing property and debts, paying financial support and parenting children after divorce.
All efforts are focused on settlement.
Clients retain more control over the cost and the outcome.
In a Collaborative Divorce, each client hires his or her own collaborative lawyer to provide legal advice. A neutral financial professional gathers financial data and educates the clients about their property and debts so each can make informed decisions. A neutral communications coach teaches the clients communication skills and helps them develop a parenting plan that makes sense for their family. The attorneys and neutral professionals guide the clients through a structured, business-like process designed to achieve agreements that meet the stated goals of each client.
Camille has undergone extensive training in Collaborative Divorce and has represented clients in this process for almost 20 years. Contact Camille today to learn whether Collaborative Divorce would be a good option for you.
Collaborative Law vs. Litigation
Collaborative process affirmatively seeks to make both parties feel safe, respected, in control of their lives and as comfortable as possible while working towards resolution - coercion is not part of the process. The goal of the process is to allow the safe expression and resolution of conflict.
Process focused on reaching solutions to problems.
There will be no result without your express agreement.
Safe atmosphere - civil, dignified, respectful.
Private and confidential.
Schedules for meetings are by agreement.
Transparent process - same information available all parties/attorneys at same time. Parties develop options and negotiate for resolution in joint meetings.
100% of all time, money and creative energy is spent on settlement efforts - fewer wasted financial, emotional and mental resources.
All legal expenses are discussed and agreed upon. Legal resources and expenses are more efficiently used.
Can try collaboration - if it does not work, you can always litigate.
Parties in disputes often feel intimidated, fearful, anxious, powerless, outgunned, and not in control. Litigation does nothing to calm this uneasiness and, in fact, a common successful litigation tactic is to make the other side so uncomfortable they are coerced into settling.
Process focused on determining blame for problems.
May get results that you do not want or agree with.
Unsafe atmosphere - subject to cross examination, subpoenas and depositions.
Inconvenient scheduling - court and other side may determine the parties' schedules.
Filtered process - information often exchanged subject to discovery rules and lawyer/party discretion. Often negotiate indirectly through lawyers.
Much time, money and energy spent getting ready for a trial that most likely will never occur. 90% of cases settle but 90% of legal fees are not spent on settlement efforts.
Legal expenses are not all within your control. Other side can force you to spend money on depositions, discovery and hearings that you do not want.
Cannot just "try" litigation.