What is Collaborative Divorce?
Legal representation for parties who want to work together…
If you are looking for a non-adversarial process for your divorce but feel more comfortable having your lawyer assist you in making decisions, then Collaborative Divorce may be for you.
Collaborative Divorce Law is a limited legal service in which lawyers who are specially trained in the Collaborative Law process assist their clients in collaboratively and peacefully coming to agreement about the terms of their divorce—without having to go to court. While representing the interests of her client, the Collaborative Divorce lawyer’s role is to help the client achieve results that are acceptable and beneficial to all involved.
In a series of two-hour sessions, each party and his/her attorney meet to discuss and negotiate agreements pertaining to parenting, child support, asset division, debt allocation, and spousal support. When needed, the couple may also jointly engage neutral financial experts, mental health professionals, and child specialists (collectively referred to as “allied professionals”) to provide expert guidance and support. The working relationship between the parties, their attorneys, and allied professionals one of transparency. Disclosure is voluntary, but the parties agree to share with each other all information that is pertinent to a fair and fully-informed decision-making process.
A key feature of the Collaborative process is that you and your partner sign an agreement (“Participation Agreement”) in which you commit to negotiate with each other in good faith, in other words, to remain flexible and refrain from making threats to go to court. The Participation Agreement also states that if the process is not successful, the attorneys and allied professionals will withdraw from working with you. This provides tremendous incentive for both you and your partner to stay at the table, even when the conversation is difficult.
 Rina Goodman is admitted to practice in Washington State (Bar #35196). She is specially trained in the process of Collaborative Divorce.