Does My Case Qualify as Collaborative Law?

collaborative lawCollaborative law can be an easy alternative to resolve a dispute regarding a family law case, very often in divorce cases.  Collaborate law offers an effective, simple way to finalize a divorce, including child custody issues.  Both parties, together with their attorneys and other neutral professionals, work together to agree upon a settlement agreement without involving the court.  This method offers a conflict-free way to come to terms on your own without outside interference and involves the cooperation of both parties.

Collaborative Law Process in Maryland

If you are seeking a divorce or a child custody agreement, collaborative law may apply to your case and may be the easiest way to resolve a dispute.  Both parties must sign an initial contract in which they agree to participate in the collaborative process.  The contract includes the stipulation that they cannot use their current attorneys in any future litigation.  After the contract is signed, the parties and their attorneys meet, along with a neutral financial specialist or child specialist, to come to terms with the agreement.  This type of collaborative law is frequently used when children are involved so that a settlement can be agreed upon which looks at the best interests of the child, including their needs and desires.

Throughout the collaborate process in Maryland, the attorneys facilitate the negotiations and the discussions and both parties are informed of all potential consequences to their actions.  This is a great alternative to traditional divorce and custody proceedings which can take and money as the parties come to an agreement through court proceedings.  Collaborative law greatly reduces legal costs and gives parties control over the outcome of the case.

When Can I Not Use the Collaborative Law Process?

Collaborative law is not recommended for certain unique situations such as divorce proceedings which involve domestic violence, history of mental illness, chemical dependency, or alcoholism.  These situations are best sent to court because of the potential for disaster in negotiation talks.  Collaborative law proceedings are also not recommended when there is blatant hostility between the parties.  While collaborative law offers parties the opportunity to agree on their own terms, it will not work if the parties know they will not be able to agree, and they will have to find a different attorney if they are not able to agree during the period of negotiations.

What Type of Attorney Should I Look For?

Not every family law attorney is skilled at collaborative law, and it is important that you contact an attorney who has experience in the collaborative law process and knows how to negotiate for the terms you would like included.