Collaborative Law is an alternative dispute resolution process in which the participants and their Collaborative attorneys work together to achieve equitable and sustainable solutions without the threat of court. Full, honest and open disclosure of all information is required, and options for settlement are explored in a creative, problem-solving atmosphere. Divorce Coaches assist with family dynamics and the creation of parenting plans, and Financial Professionals facilitate the gathering and evaluation of financial information. Collaborative Law is a welcome alternative to the adversarial nature of a contested court process.
Where Do I Start?
Step 1: Consult a Collaborative Law Professional
You can find a Collaborative professional on our website by reading about each professional’s training, experience, philosophy and practice style and reaching out to one for more information.
While some choose to contact a Collaboratively attorney, you also can reach out to any of our Collaborative professionals for more information.
If you are concerned that may be unable to afford a Collaborative Law process, contact the Collaborative Project of Maryland to find out if you qualify for reduced-fee or no-cost assistance.
Step 2: Suggest the Collaborative Law Process to Your Partner
Both you and your partner need to agree to use the Collaborative Law process. It’s important that both of you come to an agreement about which process will most effectively meet the needs of your family.
Step 3: Consider a Collaborative Team
A Collaborative team is a group of professionals skilled in their own area of expertise, working for the benefit of the whole family. Any of our Collaborative professionals are able to explore with you the benefits of using a Collaborative Team. A team approach provides more resources for you and your partner to resolve the legal, emotional, parenting and financial considerations that you need to reach a mutually acceptable settlement.
Step 4: Begin the Collaborative Process
Most of the work takes place in joint meetings with both parties, the Collaborative attorneys and/or other team members depending on the issues to be discussed. You must have Collaborative attorneys to begin the process and they can guide you as to the best first steps. For example, you may decide to focus first on the creation of a parenting plan with a Divorce Coach before addressing the financial issues.