Unlike mediation, in the Collaborative process, both parties retain attorneys trained in the Collaborative process. We work with your partner or spouse and his or her attorney to negotiate and reach agreements related to your family law matter. Other professionals may be included in the process to help you reach agreements regarding complex or sensitive issues where additional expertise may be required or beneficial, and when you and your spouse or partner believe it is necessary (including mental health professionals, a neutral financial professional, child specialists, mortgage lenders, etc.).
As a team, you, your partner or spouse, the attorneys, and your chosen professionals work together to reach a mutually agreeable resolution. Each of you has the support, protection, and guidance of your own attorney throughout the process, just like in litigation, but unlike mediation, the attorney and parties communicate openly and honestly and share all material information in order to facilitate settlement.
As part of the Collaborative process, everyone agrees that you will not go to court to resolve your dispute. If you are unable to reach an agreement, and one or both of you decides to go to court, the Collaborative professionals withdraw and you must hire litigation attorneys and forensic experts instead to take the dispute to court.