The collaborative family law process is different from the traditional divorce or separation proceedings in several ways, most significantly by keeping your dispute out of court. In the collaborative family law process both you and your spouse and your lawyers sign a written agreement to work together at resolving your issues without going to court.
You and your spouse agree to work together with lawyers who practice collaborative family law to find acceptable solutions that work for both of you. Both you and your spouse are represented by your own lawyer.
No court — Both you and your spouse and your lawyers sign a written agreement to work together at resolving your issues without going to court.
Honest communication — You and your spouse also agree in writing to open and honest communication, including agreeing to openly share information (such as information about your finances) with one another.
Team approach — Specially trained lawyers Angela Svetlichy and Kim Kelly, divorce coaches, child specialists and financial advisers are available to help you, as necessary. You, your lawyers, and your coaches will work as a team to solve your disputes, whether the issues relate to support, division of property, or parenting.
Four-way meetings — Instead of letting your lawyers do the talking, you and your spouse and your lawyers participate in a series of meetings. Sometimes your lawyers may meet alone to set the agenda for the meetings or to give each other information about you or your spouse that is necessary for solving the issues. The number of meetings required will depend on how many issues you and your spouse face and how complex these issues are.
The key to the collaborative family law process is that you and your spouse are willing to discuss and solve your separation issues with honesty and respect and without treating each other as enemies. An agreement reached through the collaborative family law process is a legal contract just like any agreement reached through other methods.
If you feel the Collaborative approach is a good approach for you and your spouse, we encourage you to contact us for information on making, enforcing, and changing an agreement.