Santa Clara and Monterey Collaborative Family Law Services

Avoiding the Courtroom

If avoiding the courtroom is important to you and your spouse, but you still want a qualified attorney to represent you, then we can help. Our collaborative family law services give couples the option of hiring their own attorneys and working with an attorney-mediator who specializes in the joint process of negotiating aspects of a divorce and assisting couples as they work through the dissolution of their marriage.

How the Process Works

Simply put, collaboration means cooperation. Informal gatherings are arranged so that both spouses can calmly discuss issues, like settlements and property distribution, in a non-confrontational setting. You’ll meet when it’s convenient for all of you, and both spouses will benefit from the opportunity to discuss things without the negative effects related to litigation. The process is meant to lessen the emotional nature of divorcing and reducing the likelihood of detrimental consequences.

The Attorney-Mediator’s Goal

In every way possible, our Santa Cruz attorney-mediator’s primary goal is to offer his expertise in a way that is compassionate and respectful. Resolving conflict can be difficult, but the collaborative process is highly personalized and focused on achieving satisfying results for both spouses. Your attorney-mediator will listen to you, guide you toward a decision that is mutually beneficial, and will help keep your discussions focused and productive.

What’s Involved in Collaboration?

  • Information Sharing: To make sure things go smoothly, both parties agree to share accurate information with one another. Honesty is key here. In order for the collaborative practice to work, both spouses must provide documents that are error-free, so that one person doesn’t capitalize on his or her spouse’s mistakes.
  • Custody:  Both spouses promise not to share information with their children or to discuss their decision-making while they are present. Protecting the children must be a priority for both parties, so they can negotiate effectively and make good parenting choices together instead of letting the court make the final decision.
  • Hiring Outside Experts: Sometimes, experts from other fields are necessary. If this is the case, both spouses must agree to do so, and they must agree to hire one person to analyze specific matters (instead of hiring someone to represent each of them independently). Experts in financial matters, medical health, or other consultants may be helpful.
  • Concessions and Negotiations:  Both spouses must recognize the benefits of working together to arrive at a beneficial conclusion for one another. In order for the collaborative process to work, each person must be willing to work toward a mutually beneficial outcome.
  • Role of the Attorney: Attorneys involved in the collaborative process are dedicated to resolving issues in a cooperative manner. Should you choose to stop cooperating or refuse to participate according to the guidelines, then your attorney will excuse him or herself from the process.

Would You Like More Information?

Mark Johannessen at our Santa Cruz office has extensive experience in Collaborative Family Law. If you would like further information, please contact him today at (831) 515-7613, via email at info@FamilyLawCenter.US, or by completing the form below.