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Divorce is one of the most difficult experiences any of us face. Dissolving a marriage frequently leaves both partners and their children shattered. During this intense emotional transition, many couples are too bitter and angry to be aware of the long term consequences of their actions. As a result, money is often squandered, long standing relationships are annihilated, and innocent children are deeply harmed.
At The Law Collaborative, Los Angeles we recognize that couples with a history of conflict don't communicate well. Many divorces take years to complete. Many couples get a divorce and then keep going back to court. Many couples get a divorce but the hostility in the relationship continues indefinitely.
The Solution : Divorce with Dignity
We help families reorganize for long term benefit. Every effort is made to reduce emotional damage to children.
Our intention is to get past destructive emotions that are prevalent when partners are motivated by anger.
We offer Divorce Mediation with a highly skilled neutral who will assist you in designing a mediated divorce agreement at a much lower cost than that of a traditional divorce. We provide divorcing couples with a way to:
• Take control of the divorce process.
• Greatly reduce the time involved, and the emotional and legal cost of the divorce.
• Make decisions in the best interests of the children.
• Communicate their needs and interests.
• Focus on the present, prepare for the future, and avoid getting lost in the past.
We also offer Collaborative Divorce, a personalized program with a team of professionals, including attorneys, financial experts, and therapists, to assist you through the divorce process at a cost considerably less than the typical litigated divorce. This Innovative Divorce Communication Model offers a team approach in which we work together to help partners express clear needs and interests, and keep the focus on mutually beneficial solutions. Each partner has a team member present to fully support them. In a Collaborative Divorce couples can:
• Achieve mutual win-win solutions not obtainable in court.
• Support honesty and mutual respect in order to create a constructive divorce with solutions for the entire family's best interests.
• Negotiate cooperatively, instead of competitively.
• Provide a safe format with clear boundaries and limits.
• Create a solid agreement to which both parties give a satisfied YES rather than a resigned yes.
Our Goal is to Help You to Create:
• A custody and visitation plan that allows each party to be committed, loving, and effective as a parent.
• An economic plan with which both of you can live and feel a sense of financial security.
• A division of property that reflects each partner's interests.
Collaborative Family Law is a new way of handling family law matters, including divorces. It is a method whereby the attorneys for both parties agree to assist in resolving conflict using cooperation and problem-solving strategies rather than adversarial approaches and litigation. Negotiations between the two parties and their attorneys are interest-based rather than positional. In other words, each party's interests are considered when crafting a resolution, rather than sticking to one party's position and refusing to vary from that position. Collaborative Family Law differs from traditional litigation in that each spouse and his or her lawyer sign a Collaborative Agreement up front which outlines their behavior throughout the entire process. In this document, the parties agree not to litigate and agree to negotiate in good faith. No court proceedings are permitted during the pendency of the collaborative law process.
If the negotiations break down and one party decides to go to court, both attorneys must withdraw and the clients must hire new attorneys. By agreeing to this condition, the collaborative lawyer shares the risk of failure that attorneys in litigation or mediation do not. The collaborative lawyer becomes responsible, therefore, for managing the unreasonable client and limiting unreasonable positions in order to come to a successful outcome. The attorneys agree to withdraw if the client fails to honor the Collaborative Agreement. Also, most experts are retained jointly as neutrals within the collaborative process. This prevents both parties from having a 'hired gun' who will automatically side with the party who is paying him.
Negotiations are handled on an informal level, with each party attending a series of structured '4-Way' meetings in which both spouses and the two attorneys sit down at a table and discuss the resolution of the divorce. One major difference between collaborative family law and other approaches is that the clients themselves craft the terms of their divorce and the final outcome rather than having an outside third party (such as a judge or jury) decide the outcome for them. This process only works when both parties agree to use it.