A Team Approach to Dignified, Effective Resolution
Collaborative divorce differs from mediation in that issues are worked out and settled through confidential negotiations between you, your spouse, and your respective attorneys. The added support of legal representation for each spouse during the sessions may be a more comfortable setting for the parties involved.
Collaborative divorce “teams” always include both spouses and their attorneys. Other professionals, neutral to both parties, may be engaged by both parties to assist in the process, such as financial planners and child specialists committed to the collaborative process.
What are the Steps in the Collaborative Divorce Process?
- For a case to be collaborative as defined by the California Statutes, a written contract must be signed by the parties and their attorneys at the beginning of the case. Thus, the first step is to create a plan for the collaborative process. This plan outlines what will happen from start to finish.
- Individual meetings follow in which both spouses and their attorneys negotiate the issues involving parenting arrangements, and financial and property settlements.
- When all issues have been resolved, one of the spouse’s lawyers will transcribe the agreements into a legal document, which is then submitted to the Court as an uncontested divorce.
How Can a Collaborative Divorce Lawyer Help?
Because a judge will not be ruling on your case, it is vital that a skilled collaborative divorce lawyer oversees the process. You need an attorney who understands all aspects of divorce, and has experience and commitment to collaborative law, negotiation and mediation.
As your attorney, I will provide ethical and sound legal support and guidance in the negotiation of all issues. Throughout the collaborative process, I will ensure that your rights and the rights of your children are fully protected.
What Happens if You and Your Spouse Still Cannot Agree?
The entire process is based on an honest desire to reach mutual agreement that both parties find beneficial. Both you and your spouse must truly wish to keep the divorce out of court.
Still, there may be times when spouses cannot reach agreement. In these cases, the members of the collaborative team must withdraw from the case and each spouse must find new legal counsel. This legal guideline serves as a powerful incentive for all involved and contributes to breaking through gridlock in difficult cases.
Learn More about Collaborative Divorce
Palo Alto attorney George Richardson is highly qualified to help you in all collaborative divorce matters. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call to find out more about the process, and about our California Law Firm. You will find a level of personal attention that is unmatched and tailored to fit your unique needs.