The Courtroom Alternative
How to become Parent Partners and a Co-Parent
If you and your spouse want to avoid a courtroom setting, but still want to be represented by your own attorney, you can obtain a divorce through the collaborative process. This is a divorce option in which each party hires a family law attorney who is specially trained in the collaborative process to advise and assist them when negotiating a settlement agreement.
How Does It Work?
The informal discussions and conference gatherings of Collaborative Practice are designed to make settlement issues more convenient for divorcing spouses. You’ll meet at times and locations that work for you, your spouse, and your attorneys. Collaborative Practice is designed to maximize settlement options for the benefit of both parties and their children and to minimize or eliminate the negative economic, social, and emotional consequences of litigation.
What Does the Attorney-Mediator Do?
Family Law Center attorney-mediators are well qualified, experienced, and compassionate. They strive to help you resolve conflict in a meaningful and satisfying way while helping you obtain your divorce using the collaborative law process. They are highly trained and will make sure you understand important information, which in turn will assist you in finding family-centric solutions and making meaningful and informed decisions about your future.
The Main Aspects of Collaborative Practice
- Open Exchange of Information: In Collaborative Practice, all of the participants agree to share information and documentation that is accurate and necessary in an honest way. This process is essential so that neither
spouse/domestic partner takes advantage of the miscalculations or inadvertent mistakes of others, but instead identifies and corrects them.
- Custody: In Collaborative Practice, the spouses agree to protect their children and not involve them in disputes. The participants agree to speak respectfully to, and about, each other when their children are present. And rather than looking to the court to make decisions for them, spouses negotiate and agree upon parenting decisions together.
- Joint Experts: If necessary, spouses jointly choose and employ the services of accountants, appraisers, mental health professionals, or other consultants whose services may be required, instead of each hiring their own adversarial expert.
- Negotiations: During the process, spouses acknowledge each other’s legitimate needs and work together creatively for their mutual benefit, instead of striving for individual advantages.
- Attorney’s Role: In Collaborative Practice, the attorneys are committed to the cooperative resolution of all issues. It’s important to remember that your attorney will decline to participate further if you abandon the collaborative process or refuse to follow collaborative guidelines.
Where Can I Learn More?
Family Law Center’s Carol F. Delzer is a co-founder of the Sacramento Collaborative Practice Group (SCPG). For more information, please visit the SCPG web site: www.SacramentoCollaborativeDivorce.com