Collaborative Family law also known as Collaborative Divorce and Collaborative Practice is a process that helps couples work through their differences using lawyers and other family professionals. This collaborative choice gives both parties the opportunity to focus on what is important in terms of individual needs as well as present and future family and personal expectations.

The Outcome of Court Cases can be Uncertain

When couples decide to separate or end their marriage the thought of going to court to resolve personal differences is not only stressful it can have an uncertain outcome that may not serve the needs of either party. Resolving conflicts using the court as the mediator is an experience that should be avoided in most cases. Thanks to a Minnesota lawyer a new approach to conflict resolution was created in 1990.

Another important feature of this process is the initiation of pre and post martial agreements which are executed in a consensual fashion rather than with an oppositional attitude. Couples are able to begin married life on firm legal ground where all of the financial issues that can ruin a relationship are discussed and confirmed legally.

When a couple agrees to use Collaborative law instead of litigation they sign a Participation Agreement which is a binding contract that stipulates that both parties will take into consideration the needs of each other as well as the children. The agreement also specifies that if a settlement cannot be reached the lawyers will remove themselves from the case and help clients make the transition to trial attorneys. In most cases Collaborative law establishes an open and cooperative environment where each party and their lawyer can work out a settlement that benefits everyone involved.

The Collaborative Law Process Has Spread Across the World

The damaged caused by court proceedings outweighs the positive features of divorce cases especially when cost and personal well being are considered. The idea of controlling emotions and looking at both sides of the issue can be exceptions in typical court proceedings. The Collaborative Practice spread rapidly across the US, Canada, Australia, and Europe because it does address emotional well being and personal integrity. Individuals walk away with some semblance of dignity.

There are more than twenty-two thousand lawyers trained in Collaborative Law worldwide according to the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. There are Collaborative lawyers in forty-six US states and in some states it has become the predominant method of resolving family disputes and divorce issues.