For separation and divorces, instead of one spouse working against the other, both sides are united in striving to find the best resolution for the family “in transition” with the professional team offering guidance as to how to achieve this in the most respectful way. Each spouse will have a personal collaboratively trained lawyer who will offer guidance and legal advice during the process. In most instances, the Collaborative professional team, includes a neutral jointly retained family professional, and/or a financial professional depending on the situation. This team of professionals all work together, with the clients, to achieve the best possible outcome for the family, not just during the period of transition, but also to look beyond the present date with concern for the future.

All negotiations are conducted in meetings with both parties and their respective lawyers present. It is a process based on honesty, compromise, cooperation, integrity and professionalism.  The lawyers and the clients work together as a team of equals, all pulling together on the same side of the problem, to try to problem-solve.  Court is not an option.  Neither lawyer can commence a legal proceeding or threaten to do so during the Collaborative Family Law process.  This provides an incentive for the lawyers and their clients to keep working together to find acceptable solutions and to be creative and engage in “out of the box” problem-solving.  The process and outcome are of equal importance in collaborative negotiations because the parties seek to understand and to be understood. 

The professional team is inter-disciplinarian, with the assistance, where necessary of a financial professional (having expertise in financial matters relevant to separated couples) and/or a family professional (having social work background and experience). It is common in many cases to resolve all issues in as few as two or three Team meetings.  The jointly retained neutral Financial Professional will work with the separated couple to streamline the exchange and sharing of financial information that will serve as the basis for decision-making. Having the neutral Financial and Family Professionals involved will save you legal costs, while at the same time, you benefit from their expertise