Undergoing divorce proceedings in a courtroom can be emotionally draining for yourself, your spouse and your family as a whole. Few divorces are easy. Often there are disagreements between spouses over finances, property, child accommodations and a multitude of other potential obstacles. However, many parties may find themselves able to agree on some issues.
If you and your spouse can agree to avoid litigation, collaborative law may be a better solution.
Collaborative law takes some of the drama out of divorce proceedings by removing both parties from the courtroom and placing them into informal negotiations. Through mediation with the right lawyers and experts, you can settle your divorce. By focusing on compromises over a winner-take-all mentality, collaborative law can be far more productive and cost-effective than a messy divorce addressed in court. The benefit to resolving a divorce in the collaborative process for those with children is immeasurable.
Collaborative Divorce uses specially trained lawyers along with divorce coaches, child specialists, and financial specialists to help parties reach an out-of-court agreement, with privacy and respect. The goal is to resolve problems jointly, review assets and debts in an open and transparent fashion, prevent an expensive and public court battle, and when children are involved make them the priority!
However, this method only works if both parties agree to stay out of court and negotiate. Without willing participation from both spouses, litigation may be the only option.
Benefits of Collaborative Law
The ultimate goal of collaborative law is to find a “win-win” solution for all parties involved. This is drastically different from a courtroom setting, which has a “fight to win” mindset. Here are some benefits to collaborative law:
- Less expensive than litigating in court by allowing control over costs
- Ensures that the parties retain control over the process, rather than the court
- Promotes open and effective communication
- Uses a problem-solving approach that addresses all parties’ concerns
- Emphasizes the needs of the children
- Encourages mutual respect
- Focuses on solutions rather than blame or fault
- Reduces stress and hostility
- Protects privacy, to include a public court battle
- Results in an enduring agreement instead of a court-imposed order.
How is collaborative law is different from divorce court?
Acknowledgment of emotional factors: The legal system does not deal with emotional issues as they relate to property very effectively. Pets, antiques, furniture and other items with emotional value cannot be adequately replaced by assigning monetary values. Collaborative law brings these issues to the table, allowing both spouses and their lawyers to negotiate who gets what in a calm and open setting.
Problem-solving experts: In normal litigation proceedings, each party chooses experts to testify on their behalf, which can easily devolve into an expensive back-and-forth with no clear answers. On the other hand, with collaborative law, experts are neutral and work with both parties to reach a solution that satisfies everyone. Additionally, both spouses split the costs of experts rather than shelling out a fortune to hire their own experts to argue their case in court.
How does collaborative law work?
The first step is to hire an attorney trained and experienced in the peacemaking process of collaborative divorce. While a zealous lawyer can be effective in a courtroom setting, you want an attorney trained in the peacemaking processes of collaborative divorce to represent you in a collaborative case.
Assuming your opposing spouse also wishes to utilize this process, both spouses sign a written pledge not to go to court, both agree to honestly AND fully exchange information. There are other aspects to the agreement, but the primary purpose is to agree to and then engage in safe and focused discussions that recognize the needs of the children and the interests of each party. Because both parties agree to not go to court, or threaten court, reaching an acceptable settlement is the only goal.
nsel who are not afraid of appearing and representing you is key to a successful outcome of the case.
Solid Legal Defense is When the Client is Part of a Team
Successful criminal defense lies in the ability to work as a team with our client. While the attorney brings to the table knowledge of the law, the courts and the procedure, only our clients know the real facts of the case. The client is also often his/her own best investigator bringing unique insight into the evidence and witnesses to a crime.
Mistakes happen too often in court proceedings, especially for attorneys who rush the process or don’t have the proper experience. In even the smallest of criminal cases, there is usually too much at stake to let the inexperienced represent you. Choosing your attorney is like choosing your doctor. You want one that gets you, who listens to you and understands your case.
Partner an experienced counsel with an honest client, and you have the best defense team for any case.
Contact the Chris R. Sundstrom Law Firm as soon as you believe you are being investigated for a crime, or worse you have been charged with a crime. Do not wait for the process to run its course or believe that the truth will prevail.