The Law Office of Janice Salvadore

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What is Collaborative Law?

Collaborative Law is a process where the husband, wife and both their attorneys agree to resolve all issues in their case without involving a court. They work together, in private, to find a way to meet each individual's needs so that the couple may make a smoother transition from being married to being single.

 

It is a fact of life that many marriages end in divorce. Statistics show that 50 percent of marriages fail. But just because divorce is common doesn't mean it has to devastate everyone involved. Many people have been searching for a better way. Many believe Collaborative Law is the answer.

 

Family Law is especially well suited to benefit from the collaborative process.

No one knows the family and its needs and strengths better than the people involved. The collaborative divorce process encourages the parties to work together to resolve family disputes. The parties are able to fashion solutions that serve the best interests of themselves and, in many cases, the children involved. Often these solutions are more creative and better meet the needs of the parties than anything the Court is able to dictate given the limited time the parties spend before a Judge and the limited resources of the Court. The adversarial process inflames the emotional controversy and distracts the parties from their efforts to continue on with their lives. The Law Office of Janice Salvadore can help clients negotiate a collaborative divorce, by keeping the parties focused on resolving the issues in the most productive fashion for the family while still having an advocate to help navigate the difficult process of divorce or other family disputes.

The conventional process of divorce can drive the parties-already separated from each other - even farther apart. It takes a toll on individual dignity, and often children suffer the most. Collaborative Law presents a more humane, respectful choice. It is a process in which the parties and their counsel agree in writing to make a good faith attempt to reach a mutually-agreeable settlement without court intervention. Working together, they craft a way to dissolve their marriage in a way that considers everyone's needs and minimizes conflict.

When they separate or divorce, couples must find a way to resolve their differences on all relevant issues. Collaborative practice is designed to minimize conflict while working toward that resolution. Parties to divorce, their attorneys and any other professional involved, agree to make a good faith attempt to reach a mutually acceptable settlement without going to court. Working together, they strive to dissolve the marriage in a way that addresses everyone’s legal, financial, and emotional needs.

What is a “Collaborative” Agreement

At the beginning of the process husband, wife, and both attorneys sign a Participation Agreement. The agreement requires both parties to:

1.      Exchange complete financial information so that each spouse can make well-informed decisions

2.      Maintain absolute confidentiality during the process, so that each spouse can feel free to express his or her needs and concerns,

3.      Reach written agreement on all issues and concerns outside of contested court proceedings

4.      Authorize the attorneys to use the written agreement to obtain a final court decree.

 

About our Collaborative Practice

Collaborative Law has been most frequently applied in divorce law, though it is also being brought to employment and business disputes.  

How did it come about?

Collaborative Practice is a new way for a divorcing couple to work as a team with trained professionals to resolve disputes respectfully, without going to court. While Collaborative lawyers are always a part of Collaboration, some models provide child specialists, financial specialists and divorce coaches as part of the clients' divorce team. In these models the clients have the option of starting their divorce with the professional with whom they feel most comfortable. Then the clients choose the other professionals they need. Therefore, the clients benefit throughout collaboration from the assistance and support of all of their chosen professionals.

Although Collaborative Practice comes in several models, it is distinguished from traditional litigation by its inviolable core elements. These elements are set out in a contractual commitment among the clients and their chosen collaborative professionals to:

  • negotiate a mutually acceptable settlement without using court to decide any issues for the clients
  • withdrawal of the professionals if either client goes to court
  • engage in open communication and information sharing, and
  • create shared solutions that take into account the highest priorities of both clients…

  

Working with a team of professionals?

In addition to attorneys, coaches, child and financial specialists, you may choose to retain other experts or consultants such as appraisers, mortgage brokers or vocational experts. Unlike traditional litigated cases, where the parties hire competing experts to "fight it out," both parties in the collaborative process jointly retain the experts they need and consider the options the experts present. Via our team of professionals, we can link you to the right professional depending on your needs.