2011 Collaborative Law Training
What Is Collaborative Law?
Why Should I Consider Collaborative Law?
Locate A Collaborative Law Professional
What Is Collaborative Law?
Resolving disputes with dignity.
Collaborative Law provides a framework for negotiation and an alternative to litigation that allows the parties to resolve their dispute with dignity and negotiate a mutually acceptable settlement without having a Court decide the disputed issues. The Collaborative Law approach typically saves time, money, emotional distress, and relationships. Additionally, the Collaborative Law approach allows the parties the benefit of having unbiased access to child specialists and financial experts to assist them in reaching a mutually beneficial resolution of their dispute.
In Collaborative Law, each party is represented by a collaborative lawyer, and all are committed to resolving issues by agreement, without litigation. The goal of Collaborative Law is to help people come to agreement about the issues they face together, through needs- and interest-based negotiation (rather than adversarial win/lose contests) and full disclosure of relevant information. Multidisciplinary teams are used, enabling parties together to hire the experts they need to resolve their issues. For example one or more of the following professionals may be essential to the resolution process: business appraiser, real estate appraisers, mental health professional, financial planner, tax advisor. The multidisciplinary team approach saves parties the time, expense, stress and inherent contradictions of hiring separate experts.
Both sides sign agreements on the front end stating that neither side will go to court or even threaten to go to court, and if either side violates that agreement the collaborative law process ends and both side's attorneys, as well as any neutral professionals associated with the case, are disqualified from participating in litigation. In addition, the parties sign a binding agreement to disclose all documents and information related to their disputed issues. Both attorneys stake their professional integrity on ensuring full, early, voluntary disclosure of necessary information. If either side does not cooperate in the disclosure of documents and information or acts in bad faith regarding the voluntary disclosure, the attorneys have promised in advance that they will withdraw and will not continue to represent that client. This same is true if either side does not live up to any agreement made during the course of negotiations, whether it be an agreement regarding children or a finances.
The Collaborative dispute resolution process helps in keeping the parties' financial and emotional resources intact while they are going through what can be a very financially and emotionally draining experience.