Divorce Mediation is not for everyone. Which is why we also offer Collaborative Law Divorce? In Collaborative Divorce, often called “no court” divorce allows each person in the union to be represented by counsel through each step of the negotiation process. In fact, this approach has been credited by the courts as a meaningful and successful way for high conflict couples that would generally seek the court process.
The Collaborative Law process affords each client the opportunity to reach a “no court” divorce however, some may feel they want to have their own attorney present throughout the process – then Collaborative Law offers these couples the option of a no court divorce with individual representation. Each party has the opportunity to be represented by counsel throughout the process and the process is also open to third party intervention by divorce mediators and divorce coaches providing families a new “gentler” divorce outcome.
Finding a Collaborative Lawyer may be challenging, but it is important that you seek counsel that has been trained in the Collaborative Law Process. The New York Association of Collaborative Professionals offers a free service to find professionals in your area or our office is happy to make referrals to professionals in the field, Lawyers, Divorce Coaches, Financial Specialists and other professional that can help you through the collaborative divorce process.
How do Collaborative Lawyers Work?
At the onset, the lawyers pledge not to go to court. If an agreement cannot be reached, the lawyers must withdraw from representing the parties any further. The lawyers and the parties agree at the onset to the complete, voluntary and informal exchange of information, without the need to go to court. Informal, four-person conferences are used in which the future of the couple and the family is the focus. Problem solving techniques are used to produce the best agreement possible, tailored to your family’s needs. You, your spouse and each lawyer work as part of a settlement team, not as adversaries.
What if a settlement cannot be reached?
In the unlikely event that you cannot reach a settlement, Collaborative Lawyers will withdraw from the process and assist you in retaining lawyers to resolve the matter in court. The result is that you will have had the best representation for the initial phase of the case and materials accumulated during the collaborative stage will be transmitted to the trial attorney so that there is a minimal loss of continuity.
Why should you consider retaining collaborative lawyers?
The process is generally less costly and time consuming than litigation. The cost of an average limited contested divorce has been estimated at $65,000 and a complex full-courtroom divorce at $150,000. The average total cost of a Collaborative divorce has been computed at $20,292 and the average for a difficult or very difficult Collaborative divorce has been computed to be a total of $27,972. You are each supported by your lawyers, and by a team of financial and other professionals who work to find the best resolution for the entire family. You retain control of the process. No decision can be made unless you agree. While the cost may seem exorbitant, the process is much less time consuming than litigation. Your case will be resolved with dignity, which benefits you, your spouse and your children.
For Clients – Please Print and Sign the Collaborative Law Pledge Agreement below.