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Collaborative Law- A Team Approach

You’re interested in a better way to solve your family law matter without litigation, now what does it mean?  Who is involved?  Who is the team?

Collaborative Family Law is a completely difference approach to resolving legal issues than the litigation model. 

It’s a team approach.

Family Law Collaborative of the San Juans, a group of attorneys and professionals who practice Collaborative Family Law

Family Law Collaborative of the San Juans, a group of attorneys and professionals who practice Collaborative Family Law

 In the collaborative model, each person is represented by an attorney.  Your attorney will represent your wishes and advocate for you.  Your attorney will also work with the other lawyer and the Collaborative Process Facilitator (CPF) to work toward the common goal of gaining a the best solution to your family law issue.  This is vastly different from the litigation model, where the attorney will have little to no information before any meetings and frequently any meetings are adversarial.  Attorneys in the collaborative model are specifically trained in the process and have specilized skills in working through complex issues without resorting to the court process.  Your attorney will give you legal advice, while also working with the other party’s attorney to help you reach a sustainable settlement.

The CPF is an integral part of your team in the collaborative approach.  This person, who is sometimes an attorney or a trained mental health professional, or both, will facilitate the entire process and keep your matter on track.  The CPF will use their communication skills to help you work through all the issues before your family.  They are not ‘mediating’ for you but rather guiding and assisting you in working through all the issues toward a beneficial outcome.  They will asssit you in learning what your underlying goals are and help you achieve what is best for your children and family.

Financial specialists are used in cases involving assets, debt, and other financial issues.  These professionals will gather information from both parties.  They will then outline and explain all the various options you have for reaching a fair settlement of assets and debt.

A Mental Health Professional is sometimes an invaluable asset to a Collaborative Family Law case.  These experts will help you and the other party see how the outcomes will effect the children, and they can help you and the other party gain valuable co-parenting insight and skills.  An MHP can also recommend parenting schedules that they believe may be in the children’s best interests. 

All this without having to step foot into court! 

Imagine how much better your family matter can be resolved by having so many team members working for you and the other party, all with the same goal: to acheive a lasting agreement outside of court.

Want to learn more? Contact me!

- Rachel Brock

Collaborative Family Law- what's it all about?

Collaborative Family Law isn’t just a term describing how you might go about a divorce or family matter by working with the other party. It’s a sophisticated, facilitated, and structured way to go about your family law matter without going to court at all. Collaborative Family Law is a completely different process than your average case. It doesn’t mean you will just go to mediation or that you have to be agreeable to a middle ground.

Collaborative Law is a different type of law. In this process, a Certified Divorce Facilitator (CDF) will meet with both parties and their attorneys and set ground rules, schedule meetings, and help you achieve your goals for your future.

What do you want out of your case? The CDF will assist you in figuring out your root wants and needs, and help you hone in on the best way to achieve those wants and needs. The CDF is specifically trained in this type of law, as are many attorneys, financial professionals, and mental health professionals.

Your attorney will still zealously represent you and your wants and needs. Your attorney will always have your best interests at heart. During the Collaborative Law process, your attorney will also help guide you and work with the other party and their attorney to come to agreements that meet the needs of everyone, including children.

What is it not? Collaborative Family Law is not about just agreeing, or settling for something you aren’t 100% behind. The Collaborative process will allow you to state your goals, and allow the other party to state their goals, then with the help of several trained professionals, you and your partner are able to come to agreements that will serve your family long into the future.

There is no limit on the number of meetings you can have. The Collaborative process allows you to set several meetings, each with a specific topic. For example, you will meet about financial issues, and this meeting will include specially trained Financial Professionals (FP) to give you a clear understanding of your financial standing and all your options.

You can still be angry. You can still talk about all the issues and hardships.

This process allows you to be as creative as needed to achieve what’s right for your family.

During your meetings, you may also include a Mental Health Professional (MHP) in discussions. The MHP can hone in on what is best for the children and can help you through the stress and anxiety of going through a family law matter whether it's a divorce, child custody, or something else.

Collaborative Family Law has taken off in many states, and Colorado is one of them. This process does not require numerous court appearances, or reliance on judges to make decisions. Let’s be honest, sometimes the court process leaves parties with orders that they will be litigating for years.

Collaborative Family Law allows you to control the outcome of your case. It lets you have as much privacy as you need. It lets you do what is best for your family and children.

Is Collaborative Family Law right for you? Contact me to find out more.

-Rachel Brock