Collaborative law or collaborative dispute resolution is a process in which you are represented by a lawyer in your divorce, child custody, alimony, visitation or other family law or civil litigation matters without going to court.
- In divorce and custody cases, focus directly on the needs of your children.
- In civil law and family law cases, negotiate an effective solution.
- Your attorney will provide you with legal advice.
- Constructive alternative to litigation.
Divorce conjures up images of aggressive lawyers, huge legal bills and bad feelings that last forever. Judges, who don’t know you, don’t know your spouse, and don’t know your children make all of your decisions.
That’s not how it has to be. Collaborative law and the collaborative lawyers of Maryland put you and the other party – your spouse, the parent of your child, or another person or business involved in a legal dispute – in charge. You, working with your lawyers trained in collaborative law, make the decisions about your future.
- Divorce coaches, neutral child development experts and financial advisors are available on an as-needed basis.
- Reach an agreement that is fashioned by you and the other party.
- Proceed on your schedule, not a court’s schedule.
- Take control of your life and future.
The collaborative process allows you, the person who is most concerned with the outcome, to take control of your own life. You, working with your attorney, decide what is most important – your children, your home, your pension, your future. The process encourages you and the other party to seek advice from neutral advisors on financial and child-related issues. You can have a divorce coach help you get through these difficult times.
Once the decision has been made to separate or divorce, knowing what to do next can help to avoid ending up with years of hostility, liquidating assets to pay costly litigation expenses, and leaving your most personal decisions up to a judge. Instead, with the help of trained collaborative professionals, separating spouses or partners can maintain control of all decisions by mutual agreement, find solutions that address both parties’ concerns and protect all family members from the fallout of divorce.
It would be a mistake to assume that collaborative law can be effective only for couples that communicate well and have low levels of conflict. The collaborative process is designed to help individuals communicate more effectively and deal with their emotions more productively. As long as you are both in agreement that you want to come out of the process with a result that addresses the concerns of both parties, that you would rather make decisions between the two of you than to have a judge impose a ruling, and you are comfortable that all property, financial, and other information will be fully disclosed, you can achieve your settlement through the collaborative process. Your issues may be complex or simple – with the availability of neutral professional experts in tax, valuation, and any other discipline as needed, your conflict may be resolved collaboratively.