Divorces create difficult circumstances for families. Emotions run high; clients fear the worst about their financial futures; children sometimes bear the brunt of their parents' anger and frustration. Litigation can compound all these issues. Collaborative divorce is an alternative to traditional litigation that enables the couple to resolve their divorce privately and without court intervention. Using the Collaborative Family Law process, an agreement can be reached with the parties' interests and the interests of their children being promoted, rather than forsaken.

 

    Collaborative Family Law is built around three principles:

 

        • No Court. Clients and their lawyers agree in advance that no one will take any contested issue to court. This allows the couple and their advisors to focus all their attention on settling their divorce and to feel free to express their feelings, explore creative options, and discover solutions that work for their unique situation.

 

        • Transparent Process. All information is freely exchanged in Collaborative Family Law. The parties agree to hire the services of neutral professional experts. There is no formal discovery and no depositions are taken.

 

        • Interest-Based Negotiation: The interests of the husband, wife, and their children drive the settlement talks. A collaborative team assists the parties in identifying their interests and looks for creative ways for those interests to be satisfied as opposed to engaging in traditional positional bargaining.

 

    Collaborative Family Law is not just for people who get along and agree to the terms of their divorce from the outset. In fact, that is rarely the case. The collaborative process provides the parties with an opportunity and the resources to reach an agreement that will protect their children and meet their interests, without destroying their relationship to the point where they cannot co-parent their children. A good working relationship between ex-spouses may be the most important gift parents can give their children when divorce becomes inevitable.