Collaborative Law offers a non-adversarial, respectful approach to resolving family law matters that do not involve courts. In the Collaborative Law approach, the parties agree to resolve all disputes regarding child custody and visitation, child support, alimony or spousal support and property distribution without the time consuming and costly need for court intervention. In fact, the parties and their attorneys sign a pledge to work out an agreement without going to court. If necessary, neutral financial and mental health professionals are also available to help spouses analyze their needs and interests, facilitate communication, address parenting concerns and evaluate assets, while each party’s collaborative attorney provides legal advice and helps advocate for the most workable solution on each issue you’re facing.
COLLABORATIVE LAW AT A GLANCE
- A commitment by the parties and their attorneys to resolve their disputes outside the court system.
- A process to protect your children and their interests.
- A process intentionally geared toward settlement from the outset.
- An open, honest, yet confidential exchange of information by the parties.
- Reduces financial, time, and emotional costs.
- Avoids going to court.
- Helps maintain important relationships.
- Protects confidentiality and avoids publicity.
- Keeps the parties in control of the process.
- Encourages mutual respect.
- Provides open communication.
- Uses a problem-solving approach.
- Identifies and addresses all parties’ interests and concerns.
If the following values are important to you, Collaborative Practice is likely to be a workable option:
- I want us to communicate with a tone of respect.
- I want to prioritize the needs of our children, and co-parent effectively.
- My needs and those of my spouse/partner require equal consideration, and I will listen objectively.
- I believe that working creatively and cooperatively resolves issues.
- It is important to reach beyond today’s frustration and pain to plan for the future.
- I can behave ethically toward my spouse/partner.
- I choose to maintain control of the divorce/separation process with my spouse/partner, and not relegate it to the courts.
If this path reflects your own thinking, contact Zanita A. Zacks-Gabriel, collaborative lawyer, mediator and trainer, about your own situation. Zanita can help you decide if Collaborative Practice is the right alternative for you and your family.
WHAT ISSUES MIGHT I NEED TO RESOLVE IN A DIVORCE?