Collaborative Family Law

Family Law

Collaborative Family Law

With the high rate of divorce, many couples are seeking a less emotionally and financially traumatic way to end their marriage. With Collaborative Family Law, the Devry Smith Frank LLP (DSF) lawyers help you work towards a satisfactory conclusion without the threat of litigation and the high stress of court.

How does Collaborative Family Law Work?

Collaborative divorce works by ensuring each party agrees to not take matters to court of even threaten to take them to court. Each area of this process is designed to move the divorce along quickly and gain agreeable resolutions for both parties.

This is enforced and facilitated with the “Participation Agreement” which is signed by both sides. If either side decides that they would rather take the matter to court, then both lawyers must resign from the case. This ensures that everyone has it in their best interest to seek a resolution.

While lawyers are used and needed in the process, they are only involved as much as the parties want or need. The parties retain control over the case including the final outcome.

Benefits of Collaborative Family Law Work

  • Faster settlements allow each party to move on more quickly
  • Individuals maintain control of the process – not judges or lawyers
  • Resolutions can be personalized by the parties
  • Details of the case remain private, not on public record
  • Less trauma and stress on children

Better Resolutions and Better Long-Term Outcomes

Because details of the case do not become public record and settlements can be customized, there is much higher chance that both parties will walk away satisfied with the outcome. This not only means a better settlement, but often better emotional impact in the long term. When parties are able to maintain control of the settlement and get more of what they want, there is significantly less chance that there will be hard feelings and ongoing difficulties in and out of court.

Reduced Stress on Children

One of the best aspects of collaborative practice is that issues of custody and child care can be customized and not left up to a judge. If there are conflicts over children, then professionals with family expertise are brought in. This produces far better results for all parties and allows for a variety of nuances and special circumstances to be taken into consideration.

Key Difference Between Collaborative Family Law and Court

One of the key differences of collaborative law versus going to court or entering arbitration, is that there is a focus on gaining satisfying outcomes for both parties. When a divorce is taken to court, the couple leaves the final decision up to a judge. This typically results in one spouse winning and one losing without much in-between. At best, this could leave one party happy but can often mean both do not get exactly what they want.

When Does Collaborative Family Law Not Work?

While there are many benefits to collaborative resolutions, this process relies on both parties being in agreement to work together and to be open and honest. If one or both parties are unwilling to work together or they are not being forthcoming with information, collaboration will not work.

DSF Collaborative Family Law Lawyers

Unsure if Collaborative Family Law is right for you? The DSF lawyers can help. We have divorce lawyers available for litigation, mediation and collaborative practice to suit all your needs.