Experienced Team of Divorce Attorneys and Professionals
Do you need assistance with your divorce proceeding? Are considering negotiating settlements without resorting to the court? If so, we can help you achieve a fair and equitable resolution by using the collaborative law process.
Collaborative law is a popular approach for finalizing divorces since it avoids the need to go to court, reduces the excess stress associated with litigation, and saves time in the long run. However, you still need a divorce attorney to guide you through this process.
At JSBell & Partners, our team of divorce attorneys are skilled at helping our clients navigate the divorce process without litigation. We are proficient negotiators and are devoted to obtaining the best divorce arrangement for our clients.
Do not wait to find out more information. Call us today or contact our office for a free and confidential consultation to protect your rights.
What is Collaborative Law?
Collaborative law is defined as a voluntary process by individuals going though a divorce or separation to negotiate the terms of their settlement with their attorneys present but without the intervention of the court.
The goal of collaborative law is to reach a settlement that is fair and equitable for both parties without having to worry about the other party bringing a lawsuit.
This process is sometimes preferred where the parties do not want a lengthy court proceeding and are more willing to negotiate the terms of the settlement. It can also occur with sensitive issues such as divorces or separations that involve the couple’s children and the custody of those children. In these cases, additional professionals are sometimes included in the collaborative law process such as therapists.
Because the collaborative law process is voluntary and is characterized by negotiations and settlements without the court, it is also used in cases involving wrongful discharge allegations or business dissolutions.
However, the majority of individuals relying on the collaborative law process are in the midst of a divorce proceeding, which is our focus.
Why Use Collaborative Law?
There are many reasons why individuals choose or prefer the collaborative law process. First, it saves time. Litigation time frames can be significant and have the ability to span months or even years. Compared to litigation, the negotiation and settlement process for collaborative law can in most cases proceed quickly.
Second, the costs are lower. Litigation is expensive and more uncertain compared to collaborative law. Parties using collaborative law can better shape their schedule and, therefore, the expected costs that will be involved.
Third, by using collaborative law, the parties are in control of the negotiation process. With the assistance of their lawyers, the spouses can spend more time on issues they feel are more important and proceed quickly through other issues that both agree can be resolved in little time. If one party feels that more consideration and time ought to be spent on a particular issue, they can insist upon extended consideration—which would unlikely be the case in litigation. Parties in litigation are bound to the court’s schedule.
Fourth, it is private. Spouses prefer collaborative law because it is confidential. This is in stark contrast with litigation proceedings and court filings which can be made public.
Fifth, collaborative law preserves healthy relationships. Litigation for divorce proceedings can get intense and leave parties with hostile feeling towards one another. Collaborative law promotes cooperation, which is especially beneficial if joint custody agreements involving children need to be negotiated.
What is the Collaborative Law Process?
The collaborative law process begins when both spouses come together with their attorneys. Sometimes additional parties such as therapists are a part of the process. Once the parties agree on how the collaborative law process will be governed, the negotiations can begin.
The terms of the parties’ negotiations are typically formalized in a contract or other agreement and can be modified before it is signed. The process can take time depending on what the parties are discussing; however, the process is generally much quicker than divorce proceedings in court.
Examples of issues that are negotiated during this process include property division, child custody and any visitation rights, alimony, and child support. If children are involved, the parties—with the assistance of their attorneys—will work to come to a solution that is in the “best interests” of the children.
Once the negotiations are complete, the attorneys develop a court pleading with all the terms and conditions discussed and agreed upon. This finalizes the collaborative law process.
What is the Uniform Collaborative Law Act?
The Uniform Collaborative Law Act was enacted in 2009 and amended in 2010. This law regulates the use of the collaborative law process by parties as an alternative to litigating their issues in court before a judge or jury.
After it was enacted, it became available to the states to enact as their own law, which many have already done either by legislation or court ruling.
The Uniform Collaborative Law Act is an important piece of law and guidance for parties seeking collaborative law as a form of alternative dispute resolution to negotiate and settle their legal challenges—such as divorce.
Need Legal Assistance with the Collaborative Law Issues for Your Divorce?
Collaborative law is an innovative and important tool to be aware of for parties who prefer to negotiate their legal challenges with their attorneys outside of court.
It can help individuals going through a divorce resolve key issues such as property division, alimony, child custody, etc. However, it is critical that you retain the legal assistance of an experienced divorce attorney.
At JSBell & Partners, our divorce law attorneys can guide you through the collaborative law process including what to expect and how your case will proceed. We help our clients obtain a resolution that is both fair and equitable for them without resorting to court. We can do the same for you.
Do not wait. Call or contact us today for a free consultation to secure your rights and your future.