The following is a basic step-by-step process to display how most collaborative law divorces proceed:
Each party hires their own trained collaborative attorney. In choosing your attorney, be sure to hire one that is supportive of mediation and understands the negotiation process. An attorney who represents you with the zealous advocate approach required in a courtroom will not be as effective when trying to negotiate.
Meet with your attorney privately, without your spouse and spouse’s attorney. Be sure to let your attorney know exactly what you want, but remember that you may have to compromise on some things. Let your attorney know your limits—what is the least you are willing to accept and what is your ultimate goal. You and your attorney should have each of these issues decided on before negotiations begin in order to keep the process running smoothly and to reach the best solution for everyone.
You and your attorney meet with your spouse and your spouse’s attorney. This “four-way” meeting will probably occur on a regular basis. Collaborative divorces often include other professionals like divorce coaches, child specialists, financial planners and even personal/business accountants. It is important that these individuals are party-neutral so that their input is not influenced by bias. Typically, party-neutral professionals of this sort are committed to helping you settle your case outside of court.
This process is completely built on the transparency of information and trust of one another. Sometimes, if the parties are having difficulties reaching agreements, a mediator may be brought into the picture. Mediators are individuals who are knowledgeable of the law and procedures and are very strategic and skilled in guiding the parties to reach an agreement they are satisfied with.
Both parties and their attorneys sign a Participation “no court, no litigation” Agreement that directs both of the attorneys and any third party neutral professional to withdraw from the case if the process terminates or if a party threatens court intervention.
Collaborative divorce can save you time, money, and the stress of litigation. Most importantly, it can allow the parties to work together to reach a solution that is best for everyone involved. The legal issues involved in a divorce are numerous and complex.
Remember as a participant in the collaborative divorce law process, you are empowered to make decisions that are appropriate for you!
Collaborative divorce is now a popular method to come to agreement on these issues. Finding a trustworthy and competent attorney is the key. Here at Fox & Melofchik, L.L.C., we are here to help. With over 80 years of experience, we know how to effectively handle a collaborative law divorce without resorting to litigation. Contact us online today or call our Eatontown, New Jersey offices at 732-493-9400 for a free consultation or to learn more about the collaborative law divorce process.