What is Collaborative Law Divorce?

Let’s face it. Divorces can be very difficult on families, even when the parties are amicable. Traditionally, divorces are handled in court rooms with a judge and are financially draining, time consuming and require a significant amount of preparation. According to Investopedia, the average cost of a divorce in 2019 was $12,900 – with at least $11,300 of that cost being attorney fees. In addition, the emotional toll of a public hearing during the divorce process is taxing on both spouses and any children or family and friends who may be involved as well.

What if there was a better way?

Collaborative Family Law (Collaborative Divorce) is an emerging type of family law practice that seeks to resolve divorce and family issues in a productive manner without courts and litigation. Collaborative Divorce is a private, cooperative approach to resolving issues while allowing both parties to remain dignified, empowered and respected. The future and well-being of your family is the number one goal rather than confrontation and argument.

How does Collaborative Law work?

Meetings are informal four to six-party conferences with you and your spouse, each attorney and any other neutral professionals needed to reach an agreement, such as a financial specialist or child specialist.

There is a complete, honest exchange of information. Attorneys and other professionals use creative problem-solving techniques to assist you in producing an agreement tailored to the needs of you and your family. Your spouse and his or her attorney are treated as part of a settlement team, not adversaries. The entire settlement team is concerned about the process, as well as the outcome.

The signed Collaborative Participation Agreement requires everyone to work together to resolve all issues and eliminates court hearings. Therefore, all parties have an incentive for the process to succeed.

What happens if a settlement cannot be reached?

At any time during the Collaborative Divorce process, if a full settlement is not reached, you and your spouse may decide to withdraw from the Collaborative Participation Agreement. If this happens, the Agreement requires lawyers and other professionals for both parties to withdraw from your case. You may then hire new counsel for the traditional courtroom setting. Your collaborative attorney can assist you in locating new counsel and aide with the transition.

How do you get started with the process of a Collaborative Law Divorce?

Start a dialog with your spouse regarding the Collaborative Process by sharing this article with them and by sharing the Northern Kentucky Collaborative Law website. If you both agree this process is the best way for everyone to move forward, then you’ll need to choose a collaborative lawyer who has been specially trained and practices in the county and/or state where you live.

Each of you will meet individually with your attorney to fully understand the collaborative process and how it will impact your individual situation. The attorneys will then schedule a meeting to sign the Collaborative Participation Agreement so that the Collaboration can begin. You will then decide on whether to retain family and/or financial specialists to assist in the resolution of your family’s specific concerns and issues.

Melissa Doss Law is a Collaboratively Law trained attorney in Northern Kentucky.

For more information you can call 859-322-5550 or email melissa@melissadosslaw.com

Melissa Doss Law
2216 Dixie Hwy
Suite 201
Ft. Mitchell, KY 41017