Collaborative family law is a new way of resolving disputes, such as divorce, by removing the disputed matter from the court room setting and instead working together to solve the problem, rather than fight and win. This somewhat revolutionary way of resolving disputes can save you significant legal and courtroom expenses, as well as sparing you the stress and often ill feelings that accompany a courtroom battle.
As part of the collaborative law approach, both parties will retain separate attorneys to ensure their interests are fully protected. Both attorneys will work with the ultimate goal of settling the dispute. No one will go to court. If disagreements arise that will necessitate the assistance of the court, the collaborative law process terminates and both parties will need to seek a traditional dispute resolution method.
To succeed in the collaborative law method, the parties will adhere to the following basic terms:
- Disclosure of documents: Both parties will openly and honestly disclose all documents and information relating to the dispute. Neither spouse may take advantage of a miscalculation or inadvertent mistake. Rather, these errors will be identified and corrected.
- Respect: The parties must act respectfully throughout the process with the ultimate goal of achieving a resolution.
- Protecting children: The divorcing spouses agree to insulate any children from the proceedings and to act in a manner so as to minimize the impact of the divorce.
- Sharing experts: Generally, the parties will choose to implement outside experts when necessary in a collaborative fashion, sharing expenses related to doing so. This could include a business appraiser, real estate appraiser, or accountant.
- Win-win solutions: The spouses will keep in mind the ultimate goal of working toward an amicable solution and creating a win-win solution.
- Staying out of court: The parties to a collaborative law process will not seek court action to resolve disputes. The goal is always to reach an agreement outside of court.
While collaborative family law can be used to resolve any dispute, divorcing spouses seek it most often. A collaborative approach can prove highly effective when the spouses can agree to some basic areas often disputed. These include:
- Division of assets
- Alimony or spousal support
- Child support
- Child custody
You and your spouse do not need to have the details worked out or be fully in agreement on these issues. Rather, collaborative law requires a commitment to work towards total resolve of all issues. For many spouses, the family law attorneys involved will prove vital in working towards a settlement that pleases both parties. Compromise is often a way of dispute resolution. For instance, if the parties cannot agree on division of assets, the award or waiver of alimony could be used to reach a compromise. The best interests of any children involved will always be of paramount importance.
McDowell Chartered: Kansas Family Law Attorneys Resolving Disputes with Collaboration
If you are facing a life change such as a divorce, you can keep costs down and avoid the courtroom, as well as the stress and negative feelings that often accompany it, through collaborative family law. The Kansas Family Law Attorneys at McDowell Chartered are well versed in the arena of collaborative family law. If you are your spouse are dedicated to resolving your divorce, or another family law matter, in a non-litigious way, we can assist you in achieving the results you desire without ever stepping foot in court. Call the experienced, innovative, and knowledgeable family law attorneys of McDowell Chartered today at (316) 633-4322 for an initial consultation.