The Collaborative Process
Alternative to Divorce
There is an alternative way to deal with the divorce process called Collaborative Practice. Collaborative Practice is an out-of-court legal process that allows both parties to retain separate, specially trained attorneys to assist the clients in settling their case without court involvement. Each party’s Collaborative Practice attorney works with his or her client to creatively reach an acceptable result.
The lawyers are trained to reach compromises and allow the parties to make decisions that work for their family. The attorneys and parties commit to work outside the court system, which enhances the chances of a successful settlement. The Collaborative Practice philosophy is that it is in everyone’s best interest to work out the issues to arrive at the best possible outcome for the family.
Without litigation as an option, the parties and their attorneys’ have a strong incentive to reach an acceptable compromise. With full disclosure, the parties may save thousands of dollars, avoiding court deadlines, formal court-required discovery and costly trial preparation. The result is that the case may resolve at a fraction of the cost of a traditional court case.
Moreover, the parties use child specialists, divorce coaches and financial specialists jointly to assist in the process and allow the experts–not the attorneys and judges– to use their expertise to assist the family in ways that work for years to come. Collaborative Practice started in Minnesota, but has spread throughout the United States, Canada, Israel, Europe and Australia. There are now several hundred trained Collaborative Law attorneys in Maryland. In short, Collaborative Law is an innovative, creative and family-centered process that is an alternative to conventional litigation.