In Collaborative Divorce, also referred to as Collaborative Practice or Collaborative Law, couples who are divorcing or ending domestic partnerships or other non-marital relationships, work with trained professionals as a team to resolve disputes respectfully and fairly without using court intervention.
The terms Collaborative Divorce (or Collaborative Law or Collaborative Practice) reflect a model that has been developed by practitioners around the country (and now around the world) starting in the 1980’s. The basic collaborative model involves two specially trained attorneys and their clients. However, many parties and attorneys have found that including other collaboratively trained professionals on the team, such as a child specialist, a financial specialist and/or mental health coach is the most effective way to resolve disputes.
Collaborative Divorce is different from traditional litigation in the following essential elements, which are set forth in the agreement signed by the parties and collaborative professionals at the outset of the case:
• negotiate a mutually agreeable settlement without using the court to decide any issue;
• engage in open communication and information sharing with full disclosure;
• search for and create shared solutions that take into account the important goals and priorities of both parties; and,
• all professionals involved in the case will withdraw from representing any party in the case if either party leaves the collaborative process and takes the case to court.
Thus, a hallmark of the Collaborative process is that agreement is reached through discussion and compromise, without the financial and emotional cost and uncertainty of outcome that are present in adversarial litigation involving the court.
Ms. Marx has been trained in the collaborative process and has experience handling collaborative cases. She is a member of the local collaborative practice group as well as other collaborative professional associations. For more information, consult the following websites:
International Academy of Collaborative Professionals: www.collabgroup.com
Collaborative Practice East Bay: www.collaborativepracticeeastbay.com