What is Collaborative Law?

No single way of divorcing is right for every couple ending their marriage. Many today are seeking an alternative to traditional divorce, one that minimizes the time, expense and hostility that are so often a part of divorce. Collaborative Law has been developed to provide individuals with a welcome alternative.

Collaborative Law is a matrimonial dispute resolution process in which both parties and counsel commit themselves to resolving their differences fairly and equitably without resort or threat of resort to the courts. In recent years more and more matrimonial attorneys and divorcing couples have been drawn to this process as a cost-efficient and respectful way of reaching agreements that work for both of the parties and their families.

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Collaborative Law has become an increasingly popular choice for divorcing couples because:

  • The adversarial judicial system is often ill-equipped to handle the emotionally charged process of dissolving a marriage.
  • Many divorcing couples want to avoid litigation, yet are distrustful and/or fearful of the mediation process.
  • The attorneys representing the parties in the Collaborative process agree to assist them to resolve the issues using cooperative strategies rather than adversarial techniques and litigation.
  • The Collaborative model differs from traditional representation in ways designed to create a positive context for settlement.
  • Lawyers practicing in the Collaborative process agree in advance to remove litigation as an option.
  • Collaborative attorneys do not use the threat of litigation as a negotiating tool.

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John had been through a litigated divorce several years ago and was anxious to avoid the protracted, expensive and painful process that had been his experience€”and that of his four children-- in his first divorce.

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