The Collaborative Law Divorce Process Explained

Collaborative Law is an alternative to the traditional divorce process. Collaborate Law brings together both parties seeking to separate or end their marriage and uses a problem-solving approach to best meet the needs of both parties, their children and family members.

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Here are a few things that set Collaborative Law apart from traditional divorce:

  • Promotes post-divorce relationships
  • Agrees to prevent litigation
  • Lawyers from both parties agree to assist clients to resolve conflicts.
  • Commits to working together to reach a settlement
  • Promotes constructive and fair communication during the process

The Process

The main point of Collaborative Law is to use healthy resolution techniques to negotiate a settlement while also maintaining positive relationships with your spouse. One way that this is approached is through four-way meetings between parties and their lawyers to creatively resolve conflicts and emotional/relationship issues. You also have time to meet separately with your own attorney.

A collaborative divorce may also involve other professionals such as financial advisors, family life specialists, and divorce coaches.

Usually, both parties and their lawyers sign a “Participation Agreement” that states that if a settlement is not reached though a collaborative approach, the lawyers will withdraw from the process and are unable to represent clients if litigation occurs.

Cut Down the Expense of Divorce

If you are able to reach a resolution, your agreement will be filed with the court and judgement is entered without the necessity of court appearances. By keeping the level of conflict down the collaborative approach helps you and your spouse keep the expenses down. Here’s how:

  • Exchanging a big chunk of information voluntarily, not through lawyers (who bill you for their time)
  • Simplify the legal process and agree on less-expensive legal procedures
  • Avoid lengthy trials by negotiating a settlement that works for both parties
  • Agree on how each party will handle post-divorce issues

If you are pursuing a divorce and would like to get started with the collaborative process, contact Tracy Lyson today. She is one of O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Foss’s family law attorneys as well as a member of the North Dakota Collaborative Law GroupVisit our website or give us a call at (877) 235-8002.

Image courtesy of Kate Ter Haar/flickr.

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