The area of family law can be very strange in the sense that no two situations are the same. Every family dynamic is different from the next, and as a result, many divorce proceedings are different than the rest. The Collaborative Law Process may be the right way to go to preserve your unique family dynamics and relationships after the divorce or other family law case is over.
So How Does It Work?
Well, the first thing to do is to find a trained Collaborative Law attorney. Each party must be willing to come together and effectively communicate regarding his or her goals for the family and themselves to make any headway in resolutions. You will prepare with your attorney to be able to articulate what goals you have for yourself and your family. By doing so, you will be prepared for the Collaborative Law process and be able to tailor the collaborative meetings to focus on the goals you set. Your attorney can also ensure that you have the proper help that you may need during this time. You will often see neutral facilitators, child specialists, and financial professionals who will be part of the Collaborative Law process to assist with the process, communication and resolutions in an effective and efficient manner. With a plan in place, bringing the correct professionals to the table can streamline the divorce proceedings and make life easier for all parties involved.
This All Sounds Like Things I Have Heard Before, How Is This Different?
There are a few very important points that distinguish Collaborative Law process from a regular court process. First, all parties and professionals in the process agree in writing not to go to court and use the Collaborative Law process for resolution of the issues. This written agreement for the Collaborative Law process also provides for the parties to keep the matters private amongst themselves and the team of professionals. There is also an agreement for being forthright, transparent and cooperative with whatever information is needed to resolve the issues. Second, the Collaborative Law process is set by the parties and team of professionals and occur much faster than court proceedings. Also, due to the nature of the Collaborative Law process, the court filings and needed at the end of the matter are uncontested and usually accepted as is.
Win-Win for the Parties and Family!
The Collaborative Law process is very streamlined as it is run like a business meetings with an agenda outlining the issues to be discussed and resolved. They are the closest to a “win-win” scenario for all parties involved as the process is driven and resolved based on the parties’ goals. If you wish for you and your spouse to control the process and make resolutions based on what is best for your family, then the Collaborative Law process is right for you! If you are interested, please note that Beth M. Terry, Esquire, is trained in the Collaborative Law process and can assist you in this journey.