As our main site explains, the collaborative process is most prominent in family law. In this arena, its benefits are very much amplified.
Each party signs an agreement to commit to the collaborative process. This agreement includes a number of provisions that describe the commitment to the process and working out the differences without the necessity of Court involvement.

The reasons these provisions are included is because the Court process can be a long, arduous, and emotionally draining ordeal. Parties that wish to work with legal, financial, and psychological professionals can utilize the central tenets that serve the backbone of collaborative law. The financial advisor is a third party, selected jointly by the parties and their attorneys, who has training both in the collaborative process but also serves as the expert the parties need to understand complicated financial matters. The psychological professionals offer sage advice on parenting, co-parenting, and handling the stressors of the new life the parties are beginning. Each legal professional, an attorney trained in collaborative law, then works with all parties to develop an agreement that is fair and reflects the equal input of everyone involved.

The process itself takes place after each party and professional has an opportunity to gather and review the party’s documentation. A meeting is then conducted with all parties and professionals present. Each party is afforded an opportunity to speak openly and discuss the issues in a civilized and appropriate manner. Sometimes, it can take a few meetings to work out the entire agreement. However, commitment to the process always bears fruit, because the parties learn critical communication and coping skills to deal with new issues as they arise. This helps eliminate future legal costs and gives the party the tools to resolve any and all future conflicts.

Attorneys that practice collaborative law are specially trained, as Catherine McKay is at Parnell, Michels & McKay. If you would like to see the benefits of collaborative law, please contact us to learn more.