A person interested in collaborative will normally first discuss the idea with his or her spouse. If both parties agree to participate in collaborative divorce, each party will then choose a collaborative divorceÂ lawyer.
The collaborative divorce lawyer will meet with the party. At this initial meeting the party will tell the lawyer about his or her concerns and goals. The lawyer will review the options with the party, ensure that there are no barriers to the process such as abuse, safety issues or mental health concerns, sign the collaborative divorce retainer, provide a copy of a draft Participation Agreement and provide the party with information about collaborative divorce.
In advance of the first settlement meeting, the lawyers participating share information. The information that is shared often includes the issues that are at the forefront for the parties, the dynamics between the parties and the general interests of each party.
Collaborative Divorce requires six things:
1. Disclosure of Documents – this means no information is hidden. Everything is laid out to bear so there is no backstabbing. When it comes to a divorce, each side wants to get a fair deal as much as the other.
2. Respect – this means both sides will act like mature adults. Enough said.
3. Insulating children – this is a fancy term for keeping the kids out of it. Honestly, they don’t need to be involved with issues concerning this.
4. Sharing experts – this means that you find experts of your own to settle issues when necessary. Like real estate agents, parenting consultants and the like. Each members of the party agree to share the costs of these expenses.
5. Win-win solutions – simply put, they want everyone to walk away where everyone benefits. This is good so that no hard feelings are produced.
6. No Court – Again, this is a process where you try to settle things outside of court. You take your case to court it defeats the whole purpose. The Attorneys involved with the Collaborative Law must withdraw, and can no longer be involved.