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What is Collaborative Law?

Developed in the year 1990 and attributed to attorney Stu Webb, collaborative law is essentially an alternative process of method that married couples can use to dissolve their marriages in a co-operative and face-to-face manner, while still employing the services, help  and guidance of attorneys, but without the often involvement of  the courts.

The key point to note is the four-way communication that usually takes place between the couple and their attorneys, with each party having their own built-in legal representative and advice during these proceedings. Each attorney must also commit to steering their client towards a reasonable settlement. Also, there is also the fact of the absolute removal of the option of going to court, neither spouse, nor their lawyers, can go to court, or even threaten to go to court. Leaving settlement as the only viable resolution for all involved.

Collaborative Law Principles

All parties in the process must agree to the fact that the spirit and essence of the process is the jointly held belief that avoiding litigation is in everybody’s interest, and therefore all efforts must be followed to avoid it. And consequently, because of this commitment, they jointly adopt this conflict resolution method which excludes the possibility of a court-imposed resolution, but instead, relies on an atmosphere of professionalism, mutual trust, honest and trust in each other. All of which are things that end up helping to produce a peaceful marriage dissolution.

No Court or Other Outside Intervention.
As previously mentioned, this principle of no outside intervention is a very strong tenet of collaborative law that must be clearly understood by both parties. Additionally, both parties must be willing to commit to a full, open and honest disclosure of all relevant information that is requested of them.

Also, all parties that might be involved in this process, be it the attorneys, tax consultant, appraisers, accountants, or any other such person must be directed by their respective clients to work in a cooperative and collaborative manner, in an effort to avoid any party wanting to resort to going to litigation or any other external decision maker to settle any issue.