When starting the divorce process, understanding the difference between the available process choices can help create the healthiest environment for the process to proceed. In addition to a traditional adversarial courtroom process, mediation and collaborative divorce each provide a process that focuses less on confrontation and more on an optimal result for both parties. While both mediation and collaborative divorce are non-adversarial, they each have key differences that should be considered when choosing the right process for your divorce. Continue Reading
The collaborative process offers many benefits to parties that are willing to work together to reach a solution in a non-confrontational environment. When parties put in a good-faith effort to communicate respectfully, a mutually beneficial solution can be reached. Part of respectful communication includes not only speaking in a respectful way; it also means actively listening with that same respect. During the divorce process, parties are understandably stressed and/or anxious, and this may affect how discussions progress. When both parties come to the table eager to have their points heard, the equally important aspect of listening may sometimes be overlooked. With this in mind, I have compiled some considerations to aid in the active listening process during a collaborative discussion: Continue Reading
In 2014, actress Gwyneth Paltrow and musician Chris Martin divorced. Like many celebrity breakups, news of the couple’s separation and divorce made headlines across the country and beyond. One particular detail elicited a reaction from many people: the phrase “conscious uncoupling.” People were interested in hearing about this couple’s take on what the family looks like when going through a divorce. In the years following the couple’s divorce, Paltrow and Martin have still been in the news for how they co-parent and interact with one another and their efforts to contribute positively to the culture of divorce. Conscious uncoupling and collaborative divorce seek to redefine the construct of the traditional adversarial divorce. Continue Reading
With so much end of year busyness, it sometimes takes effort to stop for a moment to remember what is important. I was in the post office last week to send out some holiday presents when one of those moments occurred. An elderly man slowly walked up to the counter and placed a dime on the counter and stated [to the postal clerk]: “That’s what I owe you.” The clerk replied: “That wasn’t necessary. You didn’t have to come all the way back.” The man said, “I owed it and I found it in my pocket after I left”. Continue Reading
In a recent blog, I discussed several reasons why Collaborative Law is a wise choice in the divorce process. In order to give more depth to discussion on the value of collaborative law, I’ve used information publicly available in the Brad Pitt-Angelina Jolie divorce case along with the points from my previous collaborative blogs to illustrate the benefits of collaborative law. Continue Reading
My practice is founded on the premise that most people want to resolve their family law matter without going to court. The consequences of a litigated divorce can be unintended and destructive to the parties’ lives and the children. The collaborative law separation and divorce focuses on settlement with the whole family in mind. Lawyers advocate for their client by helping their clients to have a voice in the process with a focus towards reasonable, practical solutions. While most litigated cases settle, it is the path to settlement that can take a toll on the family. In the first installment of Collaborative Law 101, I discussed five key features of the collaborative law process. After reading, you may still be trying to decide whether the collaborative process is the right choice. While the introductory post on Collaborative Law gives you a sense of what collaborative law really means, in this post, I’ve focused in one some key reasons that collaborative law is a wise choice. Continue Reading
Collaborative law is a process used to resolve family and other disputes respectfully and equitably without going to court. Each party retains his or her own attorney who has been specially trained in the collaborative law process to advise and assist in negotiating an agreement. The negotiations take place out of court in a series of meetings. The goal is to help individuals to focus on what is most important to them. The collaborative law process is ideal for individuals who want reasonable and practical solutions. Here are five key points that help to summarize the collaborative law process and its importance in family law:
I recently viewed the animated movie, Inside Out. I had read many reviews that the themes presented in the film deal with how we are affected by our emotions. The Inside Out characters are based upon our different emotions. Sadness and Anger were particularly interesting to me! While the movie is a cartoon adventure that takes place entirely within the head of an 11 year old girl, the original look into the minds of the characters can help both children and adults understand and appreciate (each at their own level) the role that emotions play in our behavior and how our behavior affects those around us in different ways. Without going too deeply into the plot (I encourage you to go see it!), we see the main character and her family going through different life events such as a change of job, a move and attending a new school. We see the range of emotions that emerge with life changes and how these emotions play off of one another.
I have been fortunate to work on a variety of matters in my career, but I focus my practice on Collaborative Law and Mediation. I find myself mentioning collaborative law in other blogs I post, and while I give quick definitions here and there, I felt it was important to provide a better foundation of what collaborative law actually is.