The collaborative law process has existed since the 1990s. A group of Minnesota family law attorneys created the process because they wanted a fairer and more direct way to settle divorce matters.
These days, the collaborative law process has been so successful in meeting the needs of divorcing parties that attorneys have expanded its use into other areas of the law that require complicated settlement negotiations.
What does the collaborative law process involve?
In the context of family law, the collaborative law process helps spouses resolve issues related to child custody, child support and property disputes. The process sets up a reasoned and constructive environment in which spouses can have their voices and concerns heard equally.
Collaborative law proceedings also involve a commitment. The spouses enter into a written agreement in which they promise to employ fairness and good faith when negotiating a settlement to resolve their divorce. They also agree to disclose all information and documents that are necessary to finalize the process.
Only collaborative law certified lawyers can carry out these proceedings. Both of the spouses will be represented by their own collaborative law attorney. If the collaborative law process fails, the collaborative lawyers will dismiss themselves from the matter and different lawyers must represent the spouses during divorce litigation proceedings.
How is collaborative law different?
Collaborative law is different from a divorce mediation because a neutral third-party mediator will not be present. Only the spouses and their respective lawyers will appear at the collaborative law meetings. The lawyers will protect their client's rights while also encouraging mutually agreed-upon solutions.
In addition to the attorneys, counselors, asset valuation experts, accountants and other experts may be brought into the proceedings to help answer various questions that will ensure the fairest settlement possible.
Are you considering the collaborative law process?
If you want to divorce in a peaceful and cost-effective way, the collaborative law divorce might be a good match for you and your spouse. Be sure to understand all the potential benefits and drawbacks of this process before you decide to proceed.