Collaborative Law – An Introduction

All to often, the parties involved in a divorce emerge from the legal process financially and emotionally devastated. Families and lives are destroyed in the process of ending a marriage. I have had cases where I honestly feared that the grief and stress from the process was going to kill my client.

Some of the negative effects of a divorce cannot be avoided. Grieving for a lost relationship is natural, and will be a part of any divorce. Some degree of financial loss is unavoidable because it costs more to run two households than it does to run one. Divorce is difficult for children of any age because of the unavoidable changes in their lives.

But, contrary to popular belief, divorce does not have to be nasty, ugly and combative. The parties do not have to “jump into the mud” or “take the low road” in order to effectively advocate for their interests and resolve the issues that arise in a divorce.

Over the last few decades, lawyers that had grown weary of seeing clients devastated by the legal process of ending marriages developed a new process for resolving the legal issues that arise in a divorce. That process was based on spouses working together, or collaboratively, to resolve the issues of property distribution, financial support, and the parenting and financial support of children. That process became known as Collaborative Law.

Through the next series of posts, I will describe the structure and process of Collaborative Law. I will also explain the tremendous benefits of the Collaborative Process. Hopefully, by the end of the series, I will have shed some light on this process so that more divorcing couples will explore this option before waging war on each other.

In my next post, I will provide an overview of the actual structure and mechanics of the collaborative process.

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