One of the growing areas of family law (both in California and around the nation) centers on the idea of collaboration instead of litigation. Collaborative law, also known as Collaborative Divorce, and Collaborative Practice, derives from the desire of parties who do not want to go to court and engage in an emotional legal battle.

The collaborative process, when done correctly, helps the parties avoid the debilitating process of litigation, which often exacerbates family disputes rather than healing or resolving them. What distinguishes collaborative divorce from hostile litigation is the concept of a collaborative process – one that not only includes collaborative attorneys, but also other team members from other professional disciplines, who are sometimes referred to as the interdisciplinary team.

The unique outcome one can anticipate from the collaborative process is that of an agreed upon settlement formula that works fairly for both sides. Both sides take a “want” list into negotiations, and both sides have to chisel away until all issues are agreed upon. Instead of litigating every single aspect of an agreement, the parties and their counsels work out an amicable solution. The collaborative attorneys work hard to generate a fair settlement, which allows the family to move forward in a healthy and constructive way.

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