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Choose Your Fate: Seven Courtless Divorce Options

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Popular Articles

Bringing the Magic

I had a case in which I was retained, not for a collaborative matter, but for litigation. (Back then, I still had the reputation for being “an aggressive family law trial attorney.”)

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Growing Apart

Overheard among a group of middle school boys drinking mochas in a coffeehouse, as one tastes another’s coffee: “That is so ridiculously sweet! That’s like something a five-year-old would make!”

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Collaborative Family Law

Collaborative family law is a negotiation process that occurs outside of court that is specifically structured to ensure respectful and efficient meetings between you and your spouse. The focus and objective of collaborative practice is to produce solutions that meet both participants’ needs, and those of your children, if any, within a safe and confidential setting. The collaborative process enables you to end your marriage legally, financially, and emotionally without sacrificing those relationships that you value most, as so often happens in court. It does not rely on court-imposed resolutions, but instead permits you and your spouse to negotiate in a safe and structured atmosphere of honesty, cooperation, integrity, and professionalism geared toward the future well-being of your restructured family.

Timeline of Typical Collaborative Case

What are the steps a couple goes through during a collaborative divorce? Every couple is, of course, unique and the exact time may vary; however, all cases follow each of the steps in this video.

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What is Collaborative Family Law?

Collaborative practice is a legal process that enables divorcing couples to work with their own lawyers and other family professionals. The collaborative team of professionals work to achieve a settlement that best meets the specific needs of both spouses and their children without the underlying threat of litigation. The clients pledge to be transparent; they will be open and honest regarding all issues in their divorce, like their finances and matters that affect custody.

A facilitator guides the team towards resolution, avoiding emotional and psychological pitfalls that could derail the negotiations. A financial professional helps the clients to pull together the information, understand the financial issues, and prepare schedules for the financial issues involved in a divorce, i.e. equitable distribution, alimony, and child support.

A talented collaborative professional brings a remarkable understanding of the collaborative process and mindset to the table. She finds a way to communicate that to others, to her professional teammates as well as to the team’s clients. She learns helpful skills that are not only useful in collaboration, but in other forms of dispute resolution and litigation, and in life, as well. Her focus is to help and not to hurt.

Not only are the attorneys of Open Palm Law collaboratively trained, they also train other professionals and speak often on issues related to collaborative practice. Additionally, our sister company, Open Palm Press, publishes books on collaborative practice, and the attorneys and staff of Open Palm Law write frequently on the subject.

Other Courtless Divorce Options

In addition to collaborative divorce, there are other courtless divorce options. Each one of these options is less stressful, less costly, and faster than litigated divorce. For more information about each of the courtless divorce options, click here for our free ebook “Choose Your Fate: Seven Courtless Divorce Options.”