Collaborative law is one of the alternatives to a litigated divorce or paternity (where the parties have a child but were never married) case. Premarital agreements may also be drafted in the collaborative process. In a collaborative divorce or premarital agreement, each party has his/her own attorney, and the issues are discussed and resolved in 4-way meetings. Sometimes the meetings can include more than 4 people, if the parties decide to include other professions, such as a financial neutral or therapist. These professionals make up the collaborative “team.” In a divorce process, both parties and the attorneys agree that they will not litigate the case. If either party later decides to go to court, then both attorneys and the entire “team” of professionals resign from the case. The parties then find new attorneys and professionals to litigate their case in court. This provides both the parties and the attorneys with an incentive to resolve the dispute outside of court.
If you are considering divorce, have child custody or support issues, or wanting a premarital agreement drafted, mediation is one option.
In a typical mediation, the parties come together voluntarily in an effort to find a resolution to their differences outside of the courtroom in a confidential setting. There is no judge present to impose a decision or make a ruling. Instead, I assist the parties as a neutral third party, facilitating their communication and guiding them to a resolution. I cannot, nor do I make decisions for the parties. I provide alternatives for how to resolve issues and empower the parties to reach their own resolution. The goal is to reach a mutual understanding that addresses the needs and interests of both parties.
In a mediation, I will guide you through the entire process. I will assist in identifying the issues, facilitate the gathering and voluntary exchange of documents and information, prepare the initial pleadings with the court which will commence the divorce or paternity action, provide insight into ways to accomplish your settlement goals, and draft your final agreement (Judgment).
Many times, parties participating in the mediation process or going through a divorce on their own wish to utilize me as a resource. I provide legal assistance, including, but not limited to, review of documents, strategizing, and providing legal guidance for people who want their own attorney while they go through the mediation process and/or those who do not want an attorney of record. In my role as a consultant, I am able to furnish advice based upon my experience as both a mediator and an attorney for one party.