Collaborative practice is an innovative team approach focusing on your family’s needs and allows both individuals to make the decisions that will affect you and your family for many years to come.
Collaborative practice allows you the opportunity to explore resolutions that fit your unique family situation – each individual will have the time to discuss the financial and emotional implications of a divorce. This process recognizes legitimate interests and concerns voiced by both parties. It encourages each party to focus on fashioning the best long-term outcome for the immediate and extended family and preserving the positive aspects of the relationships involved.
The collaborative family law process:
- Allows each party to move at his or her pace
- Reduces acrimony
- Reduces uncertainty
- Reduces inefficiency
- Supports and preserves self respect and respect for the other person
- Maintains privacy
- Promotes a healthy revised family structure
Benefits of working with a Collaborative Attorney
You Are In Control – Not the Court
You are in complete control at every step of the process. Nothing happens without your consent.
You Design Your Settlement
You work with your spouse to design the settlement that is best for you and your family.
You Can Lessen the Impact of Trauma
The collaborative process incorporates respect and consideration for the entire family and allows for less trauma and negative impact in the long run.
You Can Preserve Parent-Child Relationships
The collaborative process is designed to protect and preserve your parent-child relationships by focusing on the children’s best interests.
What is the Difference Between Collaboration and Traditional Divorce?
The main differences between collaborative divorce and traditional divorce are:
Attorney Roles in the Collaborative Divorce Process
Unlike traditional litigation based divorce, in the collaborative process, attorneys are motivated to achieve a mutually acceptable resolution for both parties on all the important issues. Once designated as collaborative attorneys for the parties, neither attorney can go to court to resolve outstanding issues and must withdraw from the case if either party terminates the collaborative process.
Collaborative teams are constructed to provide a safe container in which each party’s interests are identified and options explored.
Custody Decisions and Collaborative Divorce
Children’s needs are a priority focus in the collaborative process and both parties agree to guidelines not required by traditional divorce. In agreeing to the collaborative process, both parties agree to NOT involve their children in the disagreements. Additionally, they promise to speak respectfully to, and about, each other while in the presence of the children.
Both parents work together to negotiate a parenting plan that focuses solely on the best interests of the child. Parents can optionally elect to employ the services of a child specialist that they both select.
Two Parties, One Expert, Less Conflict
Spouses may choose to use a jointly selected expert, such as an accountant, a realtor, or any other consultant to help them achieve a fair and just settlement. In traditional divorce settings, it is not uncommon for both spouses to hire their own “hired gun” to protect their individual interests, resulting in a more adversarial situation, as well as being more costly.
Open Information Exchange
All participants of the collaborative process agree to be transparent and engage in an open and honest, fair exchange of information and documentation. Neither spouse will be allowed to “take advantage” of a miscalculation or inadvertent mistake made by the other party. Rather, any mistakes or miscalculations are identified and corrected through joint effort.
Points to Remember about the Collaborative Process
Nothing in the collaborative law agreement precludes parties from litigating if the process breaks down. If they do so, they will have to move ahead with new attorneys.
If you are interested in only the best deal for yourself without regard to the financial or emotional toll on the other party, collaborative practice may not be the answer for you.
Begin the Collaborative Divorce Process in Fresno
If you are interested in learning more about the collaborative process, go to Central Valley Collaborative Law Affiliate site www.divorcefresno.net or contact Julia’s office today to make an appointment. If you elect to realize the advantages of the collaborative process, you and your spouse, along with both collaborative attorneys, will sign the collaborative contract and Principles & Guidelines. Julia will then begin the collaborative process by scheduling the appropriate meetings.
Contacting Our Office
You can contact our office by telephone, fax or mail at the following:
Telephone: (559) 226-4008
Fax: (559) 226-1046
Mail: 516 W. Shaw Avenue
Fresno, CA 93704-2214
Locating Our Office
We are located in the beautiful Valley Oak Executive Suites