Collaborative divorce differs from divorce mediation in that both husband and wife are represented by their own collaborative attorneys, and other professionals such as coaches, a child specialist and a financial specialist are included depending on the complexity of the case. Together, they form a team that is in support of the divorcing couple. Because the divorce becomes a team effort, the spouses (or partners) work privately with a group of people who are all personally invested in protecting the best interests of the family. The couple and the spouses (or partners) enter into a written agreement which is signed by the whole team, and the judge handling the case. The written agreement contains a "disqualification clause" which means that if for any reason the collaborative case does not finish the family law case, then the collaborative lawyers and other professionals on the team are disqualified from continuing to represent the parties. This provision protects the confidentiality and commitment of the team to complete the collaborative process, and against the misuse of the process by either spouse (or partner).
Collaborative divorce can have many benefits for the family, such as:
Allowing your family to preserve close relationships
Allowing your family to restructure during a transition rather than dissolve
Addressing your personal family needs privately rather than in a court setting
Discussing and negotiating terms in a non-confrontational environment
Saving your family the time, money, and negative energy often associated with litigation
Being assisted by a team of professionals through every decision made in the process
Feeling tremendous encouragement and emotional support from knowledgeable, skillful, and compassionate professionals
Leslee Newman was one of the first attorneys to practice collaborative law in Anaheim Hills, CA. She was a co-founder and the founding President of Collaborative Divorce Solutions, one of the most highly regarded collaborative practice groups in the State of California. She has the experience, training, and enthusiasm to guide you through this unique process. Leslee is additionally utilizing the collaborative process for premarital agreements, domestic partnerships, and probate disputes.