Collaborative Law


Collaborative Law

The Law Office of Brigid A. Duffield, P.C. offers you a “No BS” way to divorce

Collaborative Divorce is a divorce solution for two parties that agree to avoid the court system and any threats of litigation. The process was created in the 1990’s by a family law attorney who wanted to limit traditional divorce litigation which is often an extremely costly process for most families, taking a toll emotionally, financially, mentally, spiritually and physically. 

Collaborative divorce provides a process that encourages cooperation and helps parents and children retain their family relationships after the divorce is concluded.

How Does Collaborative Divorce Work?

Once parties agree to the collaborative process, they each retain attorneys specifically trained in collaborative divorce. The parties meet individually with their attorney and then all four meet together through a series of four way meetings. The participants define goals, identify needs, work out differences and come to agreements. During the collaborative meeting process, other collaborative professionals such as financial planners and parenting coaches may be added to address your specific needs. With the assistance of your attorneys and the collaborative experts, agreements are reached that are acceptable to both parties The attorneys prepare the necessary legally-binding documents and complete the divorce process in court. Usually in one court appearance.

Collaborative Divorce requires:

Respect. Both parties act with maturity and courtesy to each other.

Disclosure of Information. Full disclosure is required. No information is hidden.

Insulation of children. The children are kept out of the process and the negotiation and the adult issues remain with the adults. The children do not become equal partners or part of the negotiation team.

Shared experts. Parties use common experts to settle issues such as real estate agents and financial planners and avoid dueling experts. Each party shares the costs of these expenses.

Limited Court Involvement. This intention is for the parties to settle disputes outside of court. The parties and the attorneys commit themselves to settling the case without court intervention. If no agreements can be reached, the collaborative attorneys withdraw and a litigation process can be initiated with new attorneys.

Top 5 Reasons to Consider this Process

1. It minimizes the involvement in the legal system.

2. The well being of the children is considered the most important reason to collaborate, rather than the more competitive model of litigation.

3. Parties design their agreements, with their lawyers’ help, according to what works for their family.

4. The family is supported by a team of professionals, all of whom have had extensive training in conflict resolution.

5. Clients have more flexibility to participate when it is convenient for them. Schedules and conferences are adapted to meet the client’s needs.

Is Collaborative Divorce right for you?

If you and your spouse can make decisions, even hard ones, then collaborative divorce may be right for you.

If you want a team of professionals who are dedicated to helping you and your spouse to resolve the difficult conflicts inherent in divorce and reach a resolution which meets the needs of everyone in the family, then collaborative divorce may be right for you.

If you want to develop an age appropriate parenting plan that best meets the needs of your children, then collaborative divorce may be right for you.

If you want to develop your financial plan for future security and keep the money in your family, then collaborative divorce may be right for you.

Learn more on our Frequently Asked Questions page.