Collaborative Law


Collaborative Family Law provides an alternative to traditional divorce proceedings, by starting with both parties pledging to not go to court. The collaborative approach focuses on open communication and transparency to work towards goals that benefit the entire family.

Throughout the collaborative process, attorneys who are specifically trained in collaborative law work with a team of professionals including financial specialists, neutral facilitators or mental health providers to reach goals that are unique to your specific family dynamic. Because the process begins with an agreement to seek resolution without litigation, the family has control over the case timeline and will take only as long as needed.  The parties will only go to court once a final agreement is made for the court to adopt the agreement and finalize the dissolution of marriage or other family law matter.

How does Collaborative Law differ from mediation?

Mediation uses one neutral party within usually one session to reach solutions within the family law proceedings. The mediator cannot advocate for either party and is not allowed to give legal advice. Working through the mediation process, sometimes a party may feel they were rushed to settle or have settled unfavorably.

Collaborative family law involves each party having their own collaboratively trained attorney and use of other trained professionals to assist in streamlining the process and maintain the focus on striving to reach an agreement that benefits the whole family.

Can Collaborative Law be more cost effective?

 A collaborative divorce can cost less than a litigated divorce or other family law matter because it is usually a more efficient process individualized to the needs of each specific family. The costs are determined by the complexity of each family and the time it takes to reach a resolution, which can often be much shorter than the prolonged litigation process.

Is Collaborative Law right for me?

If you wish for you and your spouse to control the divorce (or other family law) process and make resolutions that are best for your family, then collaborative law is a good alternative to traditional litigation. Common interests in the collaborative divorce process include: guidance from legal, financial, and mental health professionals, addressing the needs of children and other family members involved, engaging in a civil and respectful process and post-divorce relationship, preserving family wealth and future earning potential, minimizing conflict and limiting the amount of personal information filed in the public records, and maintaining control and cost throughout the divorce process.

If you have an interest in the Collaborative Law, then Beth M Terry is specifically trained and experienced Collaborative Family Law and has helped clients all over Jacksonville and Northeast Florida. Contact her family law office today and she can guide you through the process.

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