Collaborative Family Law isn’t just a term describing how you might go about a divorce or family matter by working with the other party. It’s a sophisticated, facilitated, and structured way to go about your family law matter without going to court at all. Collaborative Family Law is a completely different process than your average case. It doesn’t mean you will just go to mediation or that you have to be agreeable to a middle ground.
Collaborative Law is a different type of law. In this process, a Certified Divorce Facilitator (CDF) will meet with both parties and their attorneys and set ground rules, schedule meetings, and help you achieve your goals for your future.
What do you want out of your case? The CDF will assist you in figuring out your root wants and needs, and help you hone in on the best way to achieve those wants and needs. The CDF is specifically trained in this type of law, as are many attorneys, financial professionals, and mental health professionals.
Your attorney will still zealously represent you and your wants and needs. Your attorney will always have your best interests at heart. During the Collaborative Law process, your attorney will also help guide you and work with the other party and their attorney to come to agreements that meet the needs of everyone, including children.
What is it not? Collaborative Family Law is not about just agreeing, or settling for something you aren’t 100% behind. The Collaborative process will allow you to state your goals, and allow the other party to state their goals, then with the help of several trained professionals, you and your partner are able to come to agreements that will serve your family long into the future.
There is no limit on the number of meetings you can have. The Collaborative process allows you to set several meetings, each with a specific topic. For example, you will meet about financial issues, and this meeting will include specially trained Financial Professionals (FP) to give you a clear understanding of your financial standing and all your options.
You can still be angry. You can still talk about all the issues and hardships.
This process allows you to be as creative as needed to achieve what’s right for your family.
During your meetings, you may also include a Mental Health Professional (MHP) in discussions. The MHP can hone in on what is best for the children and can help you through the stress and anxiety of going through a family law matter whether it's a divorce, child custody, or something else.
Collaborative Family Law has taken off in many states, and Colorado is one of them. This process does not require numerous court appearances, or reliance on judges to make decisions. Let’s be honest, sometimes the court process leaves parties with orders that they will be litigating for years.
Collaborative Family Law allows you to control the outcome of your case. It lets you have as much privacy as you need. It lets you do what is best for your family and children.
Is Collaborative Family Law right for you? Contact us to find out!
- Rachel Brock, Guest blogger (originally at brocklawfirmllc.com)