Collaborative law is founded on three principles:
Only collaborative family law addresses the whole picture that is involved in separation and divorce. It recognizes that these situations are more than a legal procedure or event. It is also a time of intense distress for the parties and particularly for their children. Because it does address the whole picture, the collaborative process helps parties achieve a more complete, enriching and long term resolution. Through this process, couples chose to resolve their case in a mutually beneficial way, outside of court, where they are empowered to make their own decisions and customize the terms of an agreement based upon their particular family needs. This is a progressive family model because it provides for positive advantages of legal, financial, psychological and personal assistance in sorting out the complexities of the situation, while at the same time focusing on issue resolution and avoiding the harmful disadvantages of litigation. In this process, parents and children tend to suffer fewer traumas, heal faster and have better relationships with each other after the separation or divorce. Additionally, children are protected from the most devastating aspects of a family break-up.
Collaborative lawyers and their clients sit together in face-to-face meetings to identify and address the family issues that are in need of resolution. The lawyers focus the clients on problem solving and making plans for the future rather than on casting blame or making accusations about the past. The parties and their lawyers all sign a "participation agreement" which provides that should the negotiations fall apart and the parties decide to proceed to court, they will do so with new lawyers.
Because family law issues include emotional and economic consequences, the parties may have trouble communicating and making decisions without the help of other professionals in addition to their lawyers. They may jointly hire personal coaches, child specialists, and financial experts to assist in gathering information and problem solving. The professionals working as part of the team share the belief that it is in the family’s best interests to avoid litigation and settle their differences fairly, honestly, and efficiently.
Collaborative law is also an effective way to resolve disputes involving business and real property partnerships, probate and trust matters, and employment relations.
Mediation can occur between parties to such legal matters as family law, probate and trust administration, neighbor issues, landlord/tenant disputes, real property conflicts, employment relations and business disputes. The mediator is not aligned with a party, favors neither side and is uncommitted to any particular outcome or result. The job of a mediator is to guide the resolution process, not to offer their own solutions, but to empower the parties to determine their own resolve and reach agreement. There are 6 steps to a formal mediation process:
The mediator then prepares the parties agreement, which can be made court enforceable if that is necessary or desirable in the particular case.
We are dedicated to providing creative mediation services designed to assist clients in reconciliation, settlement or compromise in their legal conflicts. Our goal is to make these services available in a cost-effective manner that reduces the stress of conflict through effective and respectful communication and cooperation.