Collaborative Law is a dispute resolution process in which a divorcing couple works with a team, including legal counsel, coaches, and financial and child specialists with the goal of reaching a settlement that meets the needs of both parties without the threat or use of courts.
The divorcing couple in a collaborative divorce process, in tandem with their team, identifies the most important issues for each party. Through frank and open discussions facilitated in a controlled setting, both parties can recognize their own needs and that of the other person and generate options that may not have been apparent in a more adversarial setting. Ultimately, the successful process results in a durable agreement that does not require court enforcement.
Several of Brewe Layman’s attorneys have been trained in the area of Collaborative Law and seek to apply the resolution principles in even the thorniest of divorce cases. Our goal is to make a difficult process as smooth and efficient as possible.
While there is overlap between Collaborative Law and a “traditional divorce,” litigation process there are also some important differences. To learn more, read our FAQ on Collaborative Law.
Isn’t Collaborative Law the same as what good attorneys do anyway?All good attorneys try to settle their cases, in conventional and in Collaborative Law cases. But Collaborative Law has its own rules, conventions and methodologies which are designed to create a safe and unpressured environment that allows the parties to explore options that may not be conceivable in other settings. The hallmark of a successful outcome is a durable agreement that does not require enforcement by the court.
Isn’t Collaborative Law mostly suited for couples who are basically in agreement and who get along?Collaborative Law is a dispute resolution process that is well suited for people who have very significant disputes.
Do Collaborative Law cases take longer to settle?Most Collaborative Law cases settle more efficiently since no time, effort or money is invested in preparing for trial that is highly unlikely to occur.
Do Collaborative Law attorneys inform clients about the law?Yes. Clients need to be informed of the law as part of the professional obligation that attorneys have so that clients can make good decisions.
Does it disadvantage the client that lawyers practicing Collaborative Law are disqualified from going to court on their behalf?There is one main disadvantage from disqualification. In circumstances when the Collaborative Law process terminates before a settlement is reached, new attorneys must be retained. That adds some inconvenience, delay and expense.
Do Collaborative Law cases often fail?No. Collaborative Law process is specifically designed to help parties reach settlement. According to large national studies, about 94% of Collaborative Law cases end with a settlement within the process.