What Is Collaborative Law Practice Under Family Law?

Collaborative law is a process whereby parties agree in advance, with their perspective attorney, to not contest or litigate a divorce case. They have to sign a contract that specifically says they have agreed they are not going to litigate anything in court, they are not going to contest the case and they have agreed to meet with their own attorney. Then, there is a series of meetings, generally called Settlement Conference Meetings, with both attorneys, representing each side to the divorce in one conference room. Those sessions are usually anywhere from one to three hours long each and the objective is to resolve all issues between the parties. Usually, in a collaborative law process, it works best if the parties have already agreed on the major points.

Is The Collaborative Practice The Same As Mediation?

Collaborative practice is not the same as mediation. The major difference between collaborative law and mediation is in collaborative law, each party to the case has their own attorney. In mediation, there is only one neutral mediator. Both parties are hiring one attorney, who is supposed to be completely neutral and not looking out for either parties' interest.

Why Might One Choose Collaborative Process Over Mediation?

Mediation works very well when both sides have major agreements on a lot of the issues involved. It may be because of cost that they want to try mediation first. Or maybe they also want to reserve the right to litigate if mediation fails. In mediation, I encourage people to still retain their own independent counsel, so that anything discussed in mediation can be run by an attorney who is looking out for their interests.

Collaborative law provides no avenue to contest the case. You have agreed, in advance, that you are going to do the collaborative law process and you have waived your right to contest the case. There is a way that you can get out of that, but it is difficult.

Is Collaborative Divorce Cheaper Than Traditional Divorce? Is It Faster?

A collaborative divorce can be both faster and less expensive than a traditional one, assuming both parties were to hire attorneys, and as long as it does not become a contested divorce.

For more information on Collaborative Divorce In New York (versus the traditional divorce process), an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (914) 368-7580 today.