In the model of collaborative divorce, each partner is represented individually, but we resolve the issues together around a table, not in a courtroom. We convene as four people–the divorcing couple, myself and another collaborative lawyer–with a shared goal: to get you and your partner through the process with the results you both desire.
The collaborative process:
“Having a team of experts united for one purpose is a powerful and efficient way to achieve the best possible results” – Ivan
Collaborative law involves assembling a team of professionals dedicated to finding the best solutions while supporting you throughout the process.
The process itself is customized to your situation and personalized to meet your needs. In this civil, humane substitute for litigation, advisers for both parties–each representing one member of the couple–work together, employing “alternative dispute resolution” (ADR) techniques to seek an amicable, equitable agreement that both of you can live with.
When does collaborative law work best?
While traditional mediation works well for many people, some prefer or need a process where each individual is represented by their own counsel. Advisers for both parties work together toward an equitable outcome.
In contrast with litigation–where the sides are adversarial–collaborative lawyers (while still focused on their individual clients’ needs) share the common goal of finding a solution that satisfies all parties. To supplement the collaborative lawyers’ experience and expertise, the group may choose to bring in specialists to add particular knowledge and enhance efficiency. This can be especially helpful in certain situations, including:
- Complex situations such as family businesses, non-traditional families, families with special-needs children, etc.
- Children’s emotional and health issues.
- Scenarios with unusual tax or asset implications.
About me as a collaborative lawyer
Litigation: Been there, done with that, here for you
My background in the “wilderness” of litigation not only led me to the collaborative model of divorce resolution but bolsters my commitment to it. My specialized training in collaboration and conflict resolution reinforces my confidence that the direction I chose was not only ethical but true. That I have achieved so many positive outcomes for couples using the collaborative method only validates my belief that a group of experts working together toward a common goal represents the surest path to success.
I’m here to help you meet your challenges head-on, openly and—no matter what it takes to get there—in a spirit of constructive cooperation.
The collaborative lawyer’s obligations:
Protecting your individual legal rights and providing legal advice through every step of the process
Setting the tone for constructive negotiation
Creating an atmosphere conducive to honest discussion (see Meeting Examples)
Turning competition into cooperation
Working with trust issues
Seeking practical solutions that work for both partners
Understanding and working with power imbalances
Working through anger and conflict to identify shared goals
Preparing legal memoranda and any required settlement documents
What experts might we call in?
Asset valuation specialists (for guidance on the value of collectibles, art, real estate, businesses, etc.)