What is Collaborative Law? How Does it Work?Separation and divorce can be difficult for the couples and families involved. One option available to separating and/or divorcing parties is to use the collaborative law process. The collaborative law process is an out-of-court process that enables separating or divorcing spouses to create their own settlement with the support of specially trained collaborative lawyers and other support professionals.

Each party hires a specially trained, registered Collaborative Family Lawyer, and other Collaborative professionals as needed. Unlike the process of a traditional divorce, all work together in a cooperative, non-adversarial manner to achieve a lasting, mutually agreeable settlement that places the needs of children first, preserves family/parenting relationships, and provides the financial resources for each of the spouses to begin separate lives.

Everyone in the process commits to freely disclosing any necessary information. Then matters are addressed using interest-based negotiation. This approach to dispute resolution focuses on the underlying needs, wants, values and objectives that the parties have, and allows the parties to come to a resolution that best addresses their common objectives. Interest-based negotiation encourages win-win solutions, creative problem solving, and settlements that meet the needs of all members of the family.

Once the parties have resolved all the issues, the lawyers are able to ensure that the paperwork is properly drafted and is legally enforceable. In situations where a resolution is not possible, the parties have the option of ending the collaborative process and seeking relief from the Court.