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Collaborative Law – the process and the principles.
Collaborative law is designed to resolve family and other disputes in a fair and respectable manner without the aid of the courts. Both parties hire their own professional attorney to assist and advise in negotiating an agreement. Typically, there are a series of meetings that take place for the negotiations with the main goal focusing on what is most important and in the best interest of each party.
Collaborative law is ideal for individuals who want practical and reasonable solutions in a cost effective approach.
Here are a few key points to help summarize the collaborative law process and why it’s important in family law:
The objective of collaborative law is to reach an agreement that meets the needs of all parties, including any children who might be involved. The process can lessen destructive and unnecessary conflict. As opposed to litigation, which can be adversarial, collaborative law attorney’s work together to reach a mutually advantageous agreement. Clients are proactive participants in their family law matter rather than have a third party making decisions on their behalf. All settlements are based on the critical needs, values and interests of both parties rather than an unwanted compromise fueled by the fear of going to court.
Collaborative Law Principles
The willingness to listen and be respectful for the other party and professionals.
A full disclosure of all relevant financial and other documents and information that are needed to make informed decisions.
Direct communication between the professionals and both parties.
An understanding that the agreement must meet the entire needs of the family.
Negotiations should be based on the best interest of both parties rather than positional bargaining.
Collaborative Law and confidentiality.
There is a participation agreement signed by all parties. This contract will define which communication and documents are admissible. The agreement also provides the structure for how both parties and their collaborative attorneys will work together towards a settlement. The collaborative process is a major incentive for many families for sensitive family law matters.
There are clear differences between the collaborative approach to settlement and litigation.
When facing family law issues, you need an attorney who focuses exclusively on resolving your family law problems and who understands the stress you are dealing with.
PJ Hartman is an Albuquerque lawyer. She practices exclusively in the area of New Mexico family law, and has handled divorce and family law cases for more than 15 years. As a certified specialist her focus is on helping your family find a workable solution, allowing you to move on with your new life.