What is "Collaborative Family Practice"?
Collaborative Family Practice refers to an alternative way to resolve the conflict surrounding a separation and divorce using collaborative strategies, rather than adversarial techniques and litigation. It is also known as the “no-court divorce” because both spouses and their collaborative lawyers sign a contract, called a Participation Agreement, which mandates that both lawyers are precluded from representing their clients if in the event that the case reaches an impasse or in the event that either party chooses to withdraw from the collaborative process and proceed to Court.
By choosing the Collaborative process, the parties opt out of the Court schedule of imposed conferences, hearings and orders. Instead the parties and their specially trained lawyers commit to a principled, interest-based negotiated settlement, based on a full and voluntary exchange of information. Decisions in the collaborative process are based on options that best meet the needs of both parties rather than win-lose resolutions often imposed by the Courts .
The process also offers the benefit of coaches, child, mental and/or financial specialists, all working together to educate, support and guide the parties in reaching a balanced, respectful and lasting agreement.
Essentially Collaborative Family Practice is a different way to separate and divorce if both parties are committed to ‘divorcing nice’ regardless of how challenging the financial or child-related issues may be confronting them.