Last weekend I began the process of becoming a certified Collaborative Law Attorney. I chose to add Collaborative Law to new hope divorce mediation’s offerings so that couples have another process to consider as an alternative to the nasty battle involved in a litigated divorce. It is always my goal to assist divorcing couples through the divorce process as respectfully, civilly and painlessly as possible. Just like Divorce Mediation, the Collaborative Law process is resolution oriented. The Collaborative Law panel reiterated several times that it is much easier for attorneys to add Collaborative Law to their Mediation practice than it is for litigation attorney to transition to a collaborative practice.
I heard the Collaborative experts expressing the same values I do as a divorce mediator. It is important to work together to resolve your issues rather than handing the decision making power over to lawyers and judges. For your children’s sake, it is of utmost importance to resolve your own family’s issues so you can continue to be the best parents possible to your children. The list goes on and on.
What are the differences then between Collaborative Law and Divorce Mediation? I still believe that the best way to proceed through the divorce process is through mediation. It is the quickest, easiest, least expensive and most respectful divorce process. There are, however, some couples who feel they need their own attorney to represent them in their divorce. In the Collaborative Law process each party retains their own attorney who are their advocates, not adversaries. The parties agree to work toward a resolution of their issues rather than fighting in the public courtroom. I have gathered a group of experts in my mediation practice in the event that the mediating parties need a therapist, a financial planner, CPA, pension evaluation, appraiser, etc. In Collaborative Law all those experts may be part of the process depending on the parties’ needs.
I am attaching a link to an article which describes in further detail the divorce process options described above as well as when court may be your only alternative.
"This was the most difficult period of my life and your professionalism and organizational skills helped to maintain the sense of order and fairness I had hoped for. Each step was clearly explained and the timeline you provided moved us through the process and kept us focused. The result was a fair and equitable settlement."
"I recommend mediation for couples who are seeking separation and divorce and I highly recommend New Hope Divorce Mediation as a divorce mediator! At all times I found this process to be organized, efficient and our mediator extremely competent. Our mediator's communication both written and verbal, was excellent. Thank you for all of your help!"