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IS THE COLLABORATIVE LAW PROCESS FOR A DIVORCE REAL OR A HOAX?

If you are getting divorced, some attorneys-and websites-will point you to an interesting alternative process called collaborative law.

Instead of availing yourself of the myriad of options for dispute resolution, in this particular model, you and your spouse hire a "team," collaborative divorce attorneys, as well as parenting coaches, financial experts and others, and everyone spends both of your money, trying to understand your lives and craft a comprehensive resolution.

I have always had a few huge problems with the collaborative process.

First, one of the rules of the collaborative process is that there is no check or balance. If your spouse is lying about finances, too bad, you will likely just get screwed.

Second, if your case does not settle, then the entire collaborative team, including the attorneys, must withdraw, and both of you are required to obtain new attorneys and experts, spending the money all over again from the beginning.

Third, when you agree to limit yourself to one process, namely the collaborative process, you can no longer use all of the other dispute resolution processes that highly experienced divorce attorneys use.

I guess you are getting the feeling that I do not think the collaborative law process is the best process for divorcing. You guessed right!

Think of it this way. Would you knowingly agree to limit yourself to one brand of everything you buy for the rest of your life? Of course not. Since hopefully, you will only go through the divorce process once in your life, you owe it to yourself to keep your options open.

One final thought. If you are going through a divorce, you want to hire the most experienced family law attorney you can find. A highly experienced divorce attorney makes the process easier, since it is what we do every single day. A large number of collaborative attorneys are fairly inexperienced attorneys who are looking to supplement their income. That can spell disaster for you and your spouse.

Stick with the traditional model: get the most experienced attorney you feel comfortable hiring.

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