Col­lab­o­ra­tive law

(also called col­lab­o­ra­tive prac­tice, divorce, or fam­ily law) is a legal process enabling cou­ples who have decided to sep­a­rate or end their mar­riage to work with their lawyers and, on occa­sion, other fam­ily pro­fes­sion­als in order to avoid the uncer­tain out­come of court and to achieve a set­tle­ment that best meets the spe­cific needs of both par­ties and their chil­dren with­out the under­ly­ing threat of con­tested lit­i­ga­tion. The vol­un­tary process is ini­ti­ated when the cou­ple signs a con­tract (called the “par­tic­i­pa­tion agree­ment”), bind­ing each other to the process and dis­qual­i­fy­ing their respec­tive lawyer’s right to rep­re­sent either one in any future fam­ily related litigation.

The col­lab­o­ra­tive process can be used to facil­i­tate a broad range of other fam­ily issues, includ­ing dis­putes between par­ents and the draw­ing up of pre and post-​marital con­tracts. The tra­di­tional method of draw­ing up pre-​marital con­tracts is oppo­si­tional, and many cou­ples pre­fer to begin their mar­ried life on a bet­ter foot­ing where doc­u­ments are drawn up con­sen­su­ally and together.

You’ve lost that lov­ing feel­ing. You don’t have to lose your respect, too.

If you’re sep­a­rated or get­ting a divorce, you have a lot on your plate. You’re pro­cess­ing emo­tions, pro­tect­ing your loved-​ones, and try­ing to re-​establish your life. The last thing you need is a con­tentious court bat­tle that places an addi­tional bur­den on your family.

Divorce never easy, but it doesn’t need to be a fight.

Col­lab­o­ra­tive law is the process of han­dling divorce respect­fully and creatively―without step­ping foot in a court­room. In col­lab­o­ra­tive prac­tice, cou­ples, respec­tive attor­neys, and other pro­fes­sion­als (child and finan­cial spe­cial­ists, divorce coaches, etc.) agree to work together to resolve issues and develop an agree­ment with­out court hear­ings. When you choose the col­lab­o­ra­tive approach, you’re choos­ing a non-​adversarial way of get­ting divorced.

Divorce is both an end­ing and begin­ning: you’re dis­solv­ing a rela­tion­ship and build­ing a foun­da­tion for your future. If you lose your self-​respect in the process, you lose some­thing you can’t replace. Col­lab­o­ra­tive law pre­serves your dig­nity and self-​respect, ensur­ing your new life starts on the right foot.