Often times when married couples file for divorce they get much more than they bargained for.  For one, they can spend thousands of dollars on attorneys’ fees for motions and discovery if the parties are unable to agree upon issues with their former spouses.  Also, the emotional strain of preparing for trial can be devastating to an operating family.

That’s why the idea of collaborative law has found traction in the American legal arena.  The collaborative concept began in the early 90s as a way to proceed through divorce without having to go to court.  Unlike traditional divorces, the collaborative divorce is geared around staying out of court.  The parties sign an agreement that locks their lawyers into negotiating toward a resolution and forces them to withdraw if the matter ends up in court.

Basically, collaborative divorce is an agreement by all parties involved to cooperate.  If they don’t, they lose the money and time invested.  Collaborative lawyers engage in problem solving rather than positional negotiations.  There is no neutral third party like a judge or mediator.  Instead, the parties voluntarily disclose information and work together to achieve a “win-win” rather than a “win-lose” outcome, which is healthier for all parties concerned, including the kids

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