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    What is Collaborative Law  

Collaborative law is a unique method used typically in divorce and custody cases to assist parties in resolving their disputes or issues outside of the normal court process that is typically adversarial and extremely expensive.

The parties retain their own, specially trained attorneys whose sole function is to help the parties settle their dispute. Both parties sign an agreement to disclose all relevant documents and information. Also, the attorneys are obligated to withdraw from the process if a client withholds information, unreasonably delays in participation or in disclosing documents for economic or other gain, or fails to engage in trying to resolve matters in good faith.

Should any lawyer withdraw from the process or if the client wishes to end the procedure, the lawyers are forbidden from any further representation of their client.

In complex divorce or custody matters, the attorneys may retain experts in financial planning or mental health. Information is exchanged regarding the parties' assets, liabilities, income and needs of the children.

Like a mediation, the parties and professionals discuss goals and objectives and consider possible options and solutions that are mutually satisfactory.

Collaborative law allows the parties to amicably discuss their disputes in a friendly and non-adversarial manner so long as each party is open, honest and forthcoming about their assets and needs.

Those who wish to use the Collaborative Law process should only retain those legal professionals who have special training in this area. These attorneys have special skills in managing conflict and in finding creative solutions while refraining from engaging in tactics that only benefit their client at the expense of the other party. The interests of both parties are taken into account in crafting a solution to any particular dispute.

Collaborative Law permits a peaceful, results-oriented procedure for clients who wish to remain friends and to protect children from litigated issues that often become embroiled in petty disputes or are intended to right past, perceived slights.

It also offers a private setting for parties who do not want their family issues to be available in any public court record. For parties seeking a tension-free environment and a calm and deliberative process, Collaborative Law offers a very attractive option.