Let’s face it. Divorce usually creates high levels of stress and emotions for all parties involved, not just the two people who are getting a divorce. What’s more divorce can be very costly – both emotionally and financially- and drawn out. But now there is an alternative that can reduce spending, time, stress and what can often be long-lasting tensions and anxiety. And even more important, both parties can achieve a solution that’s best for them… and their families. It’s called Collaborative Law.
Collaborative Law occurs when both parties in a dispute agree to follow steps toward settling their divorce that eases the burden on everyone involved. First, you must both agree to keep the case out of court and convert a “fight and win” setting into a “troubleshoot and problem solve” set of negotiations.
You each hire your own attorney, who is your advocate, but who also advocates for mediation and understands the negotiation process. You don’t want an attorney who just wants to win your case at all costs and does not advocate for the best outcomes for all. After meeting with your own attorneys first, future meetings will probably include you, your spouse and your attorneys as you go through the process in a more casual and comfortable setting than the courtroom.
Both parties must also agree to present facts and documents openly, honestly and in a respectful manner. You will agree not to be attacking, and, if you have children, will also seek solutions to minimize the impact on them.
In some cases, you will need third party professionals to help with the case, such as accountants, therapists, appraisers and parenting or child specialists. Again, both parties must be in agreement on whom to hire and the cost.
Collaborative Law considers a win-win scenario. But agreement by both you and your spouse is crucial. If at some point, one party decides to go to court, both attorneys must withdraw from the case, which will then go back to ground zero.
At Halickman & Farley, we are big proponents of Collaborative Law. We have seen very positive outcomes and hope you will consider this effective approach to settling your divorce dispute. Call us at 561-932-1988.