Collaborative law is also known as collaborative practice. It is a legal process which allows couples/parties who have decided to separate, end their marriage or just need to resolve a family law dispute to work with their lawyers, individual divorce coaches and, on occasion, other family law professionals. Through this process, at times, other professionals that you may work with may include, but not be limited to, financial specialists, child specialists or other resource specialists such as real estate appraisers, tax consultants etc.
The collaborative process is designed to stay out of court by having the parties contract to a participation agreement that if either or both parties opt to remove their case from the collaborative process and turn to litigation that each party will no longer be able to use his/her collaborative lawyer.
Collaborative cases are intended to help the parties avoid the uncertain outcome of court, achieve a settlement that best meets the specific needs of both parties and their children, if applicable, and without the underlying threat of litigation.
Resolving disputes collaboratively has the added benefit of being cost efficient for the involved parties, as the necessary tasks in the collaborative model are assigned to professionals that specialize in their specific areas which permits completion of the task without duplication or increased costs to the parties. You also avoid all the costs and fees associated with appearances in court, trials, court reporter fees and other court filing expenses.