Collaborative Family Law

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Working Together

More couples are pursuing resolutions through collaborative law when it comes to settling disputes within families. Most often, collaborative law is used as an amicable means to arrive at a divorce settlement. However, this cooperative process also may be of benefit for questions of child custody, spousal support, parenting time and numerous other family law issues.

Collaborative law takes family law out of the courtroom and puts the power of decision making into the hands of the participants. Rather than awaiting the decision of a judge, the couple chooses what works best for their unique situation. After all, no one understands the family’s unique dynamic quite like its members do. This means that the participants can arrive at a customized solution that’s far more creative and realistic than what a judge may have decreed.

What is Collaborative Family Law?

Collaborative law in family law is a voluntary process in which divorcing couples and their collaboratively trained attorneys work together to resolve their divorce outside of court. The goal of collaborative law is to reach a mutually agreeable settlement that meets the needs of both parties and their children.

The collaborative law process typically begins with a joint meeting of the parties and their attorneys. During this meeting, the parties will discuss their goals for the divorce and agree to the collaborative law process. The parties will also sign a participation agreement, which outlines the ground rules for the process, such as the commitment to open and honest communication and the promise to not go to court unless necessary.

Once the parties have agreed to collaborative law, they will begin a series of meetings with their attorneys to discuss and negotiate the issues of their divorce. The attorneys may also bring in other professionals, such as financial advisors or child therapists, to help the parties reach a settlement.

If the parties are able to reach an agreement, their attorneys will draft a settlement agreement that the parties can then file with the court. If the parties are unable to reach an agreement, they may choose to go to mediation or trial.

The Benefits of Collaboration

The collaborative process takes a great deal of the stress out of divorce and other questions of family law. In general, it is a more private process, and it is less expensive too. Collaborative law recognizes that although a marriage may be dissolved, the relationships involved are not necessarily concluding. This may provide a healthier way to proceed.

When families work together to solve their differences, it is possible to move forward with hope and compassion. In practice, collaborative law is quite flexible, and it may be tailored to suit the needs and preferences of any family. It may involve each of the parties working with their own attorney in a cooperative process

  • It is less expensive than traditional divorce litigation.
  • It is less adversarial and more likely to preserve the relationship between the spouses.
  • It allows the spouses to have more control over the outcome of their divorce.
  • It can be a more flexible and creative process than litigation.
  • It is more likely to result in a settlement that is in the best interests of the children.

Professional Involvement

Other professionals also may be involved. For instance, an impartial mediator may help to resolve some or all of the issues in question. The parties to the mediation each may be represented by their own legal counsel or they may engage in negotiations without an attorney. Some collaborative law processes may involve a financial expert to help resolve conflicts involving money or a mental health counselor to help ensure the well-being of all participants.

A Healthy Alternative

Essentially, a collaborative law proceeding is designed to be healthy, supportive and as constructive as possible. It promotes an atmosphere that is not acrimonious or vengeful. Moreover, it is mindful of the fact that the relationships involved will continue.

This means that it is essential for each of the parties to have knowledgeable legal counsel at their disposal. Providing guidance and information, Ohye Law’s compassionate professionals understand that family law proceedings tend to be painful. That’s why we strive to build a constructive and supportive rapport with our clients and with other legal professionals. This fosters an environment in which collaborative law matters may be settled amicably and with a minimum of distress.

Ohye Law has the experience necessary to provide legal advice and guidance concerning numerous family law issues such as divorce, grandparent rights, prenuptial agreements, child custody and more.



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