Collaborative Family Law
The process in which you choose to end your marriage will have a far-reaching impact on your custodial, financial, and emotional outcome. An option in lieu of traditional litigation that often comes with a divorce is the Collaborative Family Law process (Collaborative Practice).
At Brown Dutton & Crider Law Firm, all of our attorneys are trained and certified in Collaborative Family Law (CFL).
The goal of the CFL process is to help you make meaningful agreements that allow you to move toward the termination of your marriage and avoid the damage that is often created by traditional litigation.
That is, if a marriage must end, CFL focuses on helping you work toward a resolution that will allow for healthy post-divorce communication, protect the emotional and mental health of your children, and protect against the financial erosion of the marital estate.
In a CFL case, a husband and wife are each represented by an attorney trained in interest-based negotiation, the structure of the CFL case, and interpersonal conflict resolution skills. The attorneys and clients enter into a contract, called a “Participation Agreement.”
The Participation Agreement provides that each of you is represented by your own attorney. In spite of the fact that much of the work is done in four-way meetings and the goal is to create a mutual, problem-solving atmosphere, each party is represented solely by his or her attorney. In some cases, you, your spouse, and the attorneys may decide that additional professionals might be helpful to resolve your case, such as child specialists, Certified Financial Planners, coaches, etc.
Generally speaking, the process involves the following:
- Exploring and understanding your interests/concerns and your spouse’s interests/concerns.
- Gathering all information necessary to make informed decisions. Full disclosure is essential.
- Understanding the value of what has been disclosed (this may mean retaining neutral appraisers/business valuation experts.
- Understanding assets and liabilities.
- Working together with the assistance of professionals involved to resolve all disputed issues.
If you decide this is the route you want to choose for your divorce, our certified attorneys will look after your best interests and guide you through the process every step of the way.