Collaborative divorce is a solution-oriented alternative to the traditional divorce and litigation method. The collaborative approach blends the benefits of each party having representation while negotiating face-to-face in a civil and respectful manner. The parties and lawyers work together as a team to reach an acceptable, comprehensive divorce settlement. There is no court intervention during the process.
Clients are often attracted to collaborative divorce because they have the power to dictate their family’s future. The collaborative approach gives parties the ability to customize a settlement that is best for their children and allows them to co-parent post-divorce.
What makes collaborative law different from the traditional litigation approach?
- Agreement. In collaborative law, the parties and their lawyers sign a “Participation Agreement” agreeing that in the event a settlement is not reached, the lawyers will withdraw from the process. In such cases, the parties must hire new lawyers to guide them through litigation.
- Meetings. The parties and their lawyers have team meetings to discuss and negotiate settlement options. The meetings take place in a respective environment where the parties can openly communicate and listen to one another’s perspective, interests, and concerns.
- Professionals. Other professionals, such as financial planners, parenting educators, and facilitators may be involved in the collaborative process when their expertise is needed.
- Children. When children are involved, the parties promote the best interests of the children and the family as a whole. The parties customize a custody arrangement that is best for the children and allows them to successfully co-parent post-divorce.
- Disclosure. Throughout the collaborative process, each party is open and honest, disclosing all relevant information and documents. The parties are required to act in good faith. The attorneys are obligated to withdraw in the event he or she discovers the client is taking advantage of the collaborative process.
When parties decide to take the collaborative approach, they commit to respectfully resolving issues, even when the process may be difficult. The overarching goal is to preserve a relationship between the parties and within the family.
If you’re interested in seeing if collaborative law may be an option for your divorce, contact Sailer Law at (319) 260-2096 to schedule your first, fully confidential consultation. We can answer any questions you have about the collaborative law process and help you determine if it is the right approach for you.