Will Collaborative law work for me? My issues are child support, guardianship and property division. We get along OK, but have had some fights over money. We do not have a lot of spare cash and don’t want to waste what we have.

A lot of people prefer collaborative law because it uses a team approach to help them settle their issues. Child support and property division are generally quite straight forward. The arrangements for the kids and spousal support can be a lot more difficult.

Collaborative Law builds on the desire to reach a reasonable agreement. The spouses agree not to go to court, but to settle their disputes co-operatively. The family conflict is divided into its constituent parts and these are addressed with the help of professions with specialized training:

  • Divorce Coaches help the parties work through their emotional turmoil and develop new skills to assist in conflict resolution;
  • Child Specialists address the children’s needs; and
  • Financial Specialists help to assess the family’s resources and map out a future financial plan.

The lawyers share their expertise with the other professionals. Since the lawyers are generally the most expensive professionals in the team, focusing their role normally adds up to serious savings.

Mediation often plays an important role in Collaborative Law process.  The Collaborative Process is tailored to each case and can move quickly and efficiently. Stress is greatly reduced and it is a far better use of your limited resources than the traditional approach of going to court and fighting it out.

Mediation can be a good alternative to “Collaborative Law”, if you do not wish to have Divorce Coaches, Child Specialists, or Financial Specialists involved.

Michael Butterfield

Collaborative Lawyer, Mediator and Arbitrator.