What is collabrative law?
Collaborative law (also called collaborative practice, divorce, or family law) is a legal process enabling couples who have decided to separate or end their marriage to work with their lawyers and, on occasion, other family professionals in order to avoid the uncertain outcome of court and to achieve a settlement that best meets the specific needs of both parties and their children without the underlying threat of contested litigation. The voluntary process is initiated when the couple signs a contract (called the “participation agreement”), binding each other to the process and disqualifying their respective lawyer’s right to represent either one in any future family related litigation.
This approach to conflict resolution was created in 1990 by a Minnesota family lawyer Stuart Webb, who saw that traditional litigation was not always helpful to parties and their families, and often was damaging. Since 1990, the Collaborative Law movement has spread rapidly to most of the United States, Europe, Canada and Australia. Per the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (“IACP”), more than 22,000 lawyers have been trained in Collaborative Law worldwide, with collaborative practitioners in at least 46 states. In some localities, Collaborative Law has become the predominant method for resolving divorce, co-habitation and other family disputes. More than 1,250 lawyers have completed their training in England where collaborative law was launched in 2003.
The collaborative process can be used to facilitate a broad range of other family issues, including disputes between parents and the drawing up of pre and post-marital contracts. The traditional method of drawing up pre-marital contracts is oppositional, and many couples prefer to begin their married life on a better footing where documents are drawn up consensually and together.
If you are interested in engaging a lawyer for the collaborative law process please do not hesitate to contact us.