At Littman Family Law, we are big advocates of using Collaborative Law for divorce in order to resolve differences and keep families moving forward. Collaborative Law is a process which involves an agreement to use Collaborative Law professionals – including attorneys, financial professionals and therapists – and keep the divorce out of court.
The main difference between Collaborative Law and traditional family law divorce is that if one party decides to leave the process and bring a court motion, both parties have to get new attorneys. This deters people from leaving the process without first putting in some serious effort.
Why Collaborative Law?
With a focus on interests instead of positions, Collaborative Law allows people to resolve their differences while staying focused on what is really important to them. While not a therapeutic process in itself, it can lead to a more emotionally satisfying result for everyone.
Before you meet with a Collaborative Law attorney, you will want to prepare for the meeting much like you would prepare for a meeting with a traditional family law attorney. The Colorado Collaborative Divorce Professionals site gives some pointers on preparing for that first visit.
Preparing for your first visit
Initially you want to give an overview of your case and get a feel for the approach and personality of the attorney with whom you are meeting. In addition, here are some items you can take care of prior to that first encounter:
- Create a list of assets and liabilities
- Create a budget for living expenses
- Determine what is really important to you and why
- If you have children, create a list of concerns about them
- Educate yourself – about your financial position, about the process
- Come up with a list of questions in order of priority
Many helpful resources on the topic of Collaborative Law and other alternative dispute resolution processes exist in books and online. If you think this process may be right for you, don’t hesitate to reach out to a Collaborative Law professional to get more information.