24 January 2011 0 Comments

Collaborative Law

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Collaborative law is the process when a couple decides to end their marriage that requires them to make a commitment with their lawyer that they will not go into court.  All parties get together and agree that if they cannot settle divorce issues at hand, and one party decides to go to court to settle, both attorneys must withdraw from the case.  Unless agreed upon by both parties, any documents prepared during the process cannot be used in court.

The process begins when the couple signs a Participation Agreement agreeing that if a settlement is not reached, the lawyers will withdraw from the process and not participate in any future litigation. The Agreement states that the parties will rely on their lawyer to reach an agreement, they will act on the best interests of their children, all communications will be fair and open and neutral experts may be retained, if necessary.  The couple, plus each lawyer, will engage in four-way meetings so they can state, in their own words, their feelings and thoughts. 

The pros of Collaborative law cases include the fact that it takes less time and there is less expense involved.  It also involves a cooperative atmosphere versus one with conflict and anger.  However, the con to Collaborative law is if the process fails, the extra cost involved in starting over could be high.

Ending a marriage is never easy, especially when children are involved.  Emotions always run high.  Whether you are considering divorce, or already been served with divorce papers, contact an experienced California Family Law attorney near you.

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