Collaborative Law

In the model of collaborative divorce, each partner is represented individually, but we resolve the issues together. We work around a common table, not in a courtroom. We convene initially 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.

Rather than work at cross purposes, we commit to cooperate. We build a team of experienced professionals to assist us in our efforts. And together, we focus on finding solutions that work for everyone.

The collaborative process:

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 process, professionals and parties all work together, without the threat of litigation, to seek an amicable, equitable agreement that meets everyone’s needs.

When does collaborative law work best?

While traditional mediation works well for many people, some benefit from a process which provides additional levels of individual support. And the collaborative model provides maximum support for the parties. But the assistance of individual counsel does not mean that the lawyers work to outdo or undermine one another. Collaboration promotes the opposite dynamic – cooperation. And that is the secret of its success.

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. In order to provide even greater support tailored to the specific needs of the parties, together the group invites neutral subject matter experts to join the team to add specialized experience and enhance efficiency.

Mediation and collaborative law are now the fastest-growing method of divorce resolution.
Let me show you why.

What experts might you choose to include on the team?

  • Financial planners
  • Family coordinators
  • Child specialists
  • Asset valuation specialists (for guidance on the value of collectibles, art, real estate, businesses, etc.)

About me as a collaborative lawyer

My background in the “wilderness” of litigation led me to understand the ways in which it often fell short in delivering satisfying resolutions for people in conflict. And that experience not only led me to the collaborative model, it bolsters my continuing commitment to it. The ongoing specialized training and study I dedicate to collaboration and conflict resolution reinforces my confidence in the validity and truth of the process. That I have participated in so many positive outcomes for couples using the collaborative model only validates my belief that a group of experts working together toward a common goal represents the surest – and smoothest – path to success.

The collaborative lawyer’s role:

  • Protecting your individual legal rights and providing sound legal advice through every step of the process
  • Helping you to identify and effectively communicate what matters most to you.
  • Setting the tone for constructive negotiation
  • Creating an atmosphere conducive to honest discussion 
  • Turning competition into cooperation
  • Understanding and addressing 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
  • Assisting in the generation of creative options and ideas
  • Exploring every suggestion and examining the ways in which it does, or doesn’t, meet your identified goals
  • Preparing legal memoranda and any required settlement documents

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