Collaborative Law (commonly known as Collaborative Divorce) is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) that was developed in the late 1980s in Minnesota. Since then the practice has spread to all 50 states, as well as to other countries including Canada, England, Ireland, and Australia.
The primary goal of the Collaborative Divorce process is to settle outstanding issues in a non-adversarial manner. This process aims to minimize, if not eliminate, the negative economic, social, and emotional consequences of protracted litigation on spouses and their children.
Some of the principles of Collaborative Divorce are:
- The spouses seeking a divorce agree not to pursue divorce through litigation, and instead, agree to resolve their divorce in a non-threatening, respectful, non-adversarial manner.
- The spouses and their attorneys agree to act in good faith and focus on needs and interests rather than “positions” in the divorce.
- The couple and their respective attorneys work as a team to craft a settlement that both parties feel is fair and equitable to themselves and each other.
- The parties and their attorneys may agree to engage other collaborative professionals such as a child specialist, divorce coach, and/or a financial specialist who are trained to help support the parties in their Collaborative Divorce.
For example, having a Divorce Coach on the team may help individuals uncouple their former, dysfunctional relationship by helping them process the emotional part of the break-up and build the skills they need to create a respectful divorce and move on with their lives.
A Child Specialist can help parents develop a parenting plan that is in their children’s best interests. Often, the Child Specialist will meet with the parents’’ children in order to assist with drafting a parenting plan that is in the children’s best interests.
A Financial Specialist can calculate many different financial scenarios to show the divorcing couple what their financial options are.
A Family Specialist performs the same functions as Divorce Coach and a Child Specialist. A Family Specialist might be appropriate to use in low or moderate conflict cases.
An Eldercare Specialist may be useful when issues with aging, quality care, costs, or short- or long-term care options are concerned.
How Does Collaborative Divorce Work?
A Collaborative Divorce is done in a series of meetings that focus on identifying and prioritizing issues to be discussed and resolved. All participants freely exchange all relevant information, generate and discuss options, and strive to problem-solve that ultimately reaches resolution and a full settlement of the divorce.
Experienced Assistance in Collaborative Divorce
The Levey Law Group is experienced in all forms of ADR and will work with you to determine which method best suits your needs. In Collaborative Divorce, the key to success is the willingness of all parties and their attorneys to commit to the process. The Levey Law Group has met the stringent standards involving additional training in the practice of Collaborative Divorce. To learn if Collaborative Divorce offers an appropriate solution to your family law dispute, please call us.