What is Collaborative Law?

Collaborative Divorce can be a great option for couples who are willing to negotiate rather than litigate.

A Collaborative Divorce can be a great option for couples who are willing to negotiate rather than litigate.

by: Julia Rodgers

Divorce is often a devastating and stressful experience - but it doesn't have to be. Collaborative law is an approach to divorce (in Massachusetts- not all states offer collaborative divorce) in which a divorcing couple commits to the process until a resolution is reached, without the threat of litigation.  In order for a couple to engage this process, they must each be represented by an attorney who is certified in the field of Collaborative Law. Instead of participating in the litigation process, the divorcing couple negotiates on matters in the divorce, ranging from asset distribution and property division to child custody and support arrangements. The collaborative law process tends to lead to ore peaceful resolutions and allows both individuals are able to move forward with their lives without having to experience litigation.

Many people confuse collaborative law and mediation, but they are very different processes. Mediation involves hiring a neutral certified mediator (who may or may not be a lawyer) to help facilitate a mutually satisfactory resolution. The mediator’s job is to assist you and your spouse in coming to an agreement, but they will not represent either of you.

In collaborative law, each spouse is represented by, and will receive legal advice from their certified collaborative lawyer. Each spouse will have individual meetings with their lawyer to pinpoint problems and come up with solutions, and the lawyers may negotiate the terms of the separation agreement. When the threat of litigation is removed, both parties are better able to negotiate, and therefore are more likely to emerge from the divorce with a favorable outcome.

Julia Rodgers, Mavrides Law

Julia Rodgers, Mavrides Law

To speak with a lawyer about a divorce or other family law matter, contact Mavrides Law in Boston or Quincy, Massachusetts. To schedule an initial consultation, call 617-723-9900 or contact the firm by email (info@MavridesLaw.com)

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