My Own Collaborative Divorce:
Collaborative Divorce Q&A
- What is Collaborative Law?
Collaborative Law is a distinctly empowering way to resolve
disputes. It is a constructive way to create agreements
that work for everyone involved.
- How does Collaborative Law differ from mediation?
In mediation, two parties hire one mediator and possibly two lawyers to facilitate
discussion aimed at settlement. In collaborative law, both
parties hire their own lawyers, or advocates, to work together
openly and honestly to resolve the parties’ dispute. In
contrast to mediation, collaborative lawyers do give their clients
legal advice that will support them in crafting solutions. The
two lawyers work as a team together with their clients to problem
solve. The collaborative law process includes meetings
between parties and their lawyers as well as “four-way
meetings” during which everyone comes together to discuss
lawyers are not objective as a mediator, but rather involved
and invested in finding a solution with integrity.
- How is Collaborative Law different from conventional
Typically, conventional family law litigation lasts
from 12-48 months, costs on average $20,000 per person, and
fails to resolve all of the issues o the satisfaction of
both parties (there is a 90% chance of post-agreement litigation
of subsequent issues.) In contrast, the collaborative
law process lasts
4-8 months, on average costs $7,000-$10,000 with a less than 5%
of post-agreement litigation of subsequent issues. Clients
typically finish the process having experienced a relative “win-win” rather
than feeling completely devastated by the adversarial battle
often found in conventional litigation.
- When is Collaborative Law not appropriate?
Collaborative law may not be appropriate when there has
been a history of violence, psychological abuse or in
cases involving alcohol or drug abuse. If the two
parties are not willing to participate openly and
honestly, the collaborative process will also not be appropriate
- What do Collaborative Law clients say about the collaborative process?
Collaborative law patients often report that the process
was one of cooperation and healing. Usually, the parties
in a collaborative law process are very grateful to have
avoided the destructive nature of conventional litigation.
- What if my spouse/ex-spouse does not agree to proceed
in the Collaborative Law process?
Then you will have to take either the conventional approach
to resolving your dispute, or attempt an uncontested, amicable divorce, without the facilitated structure of Collaborative Law. However, that being said,
when others learn about the benefits of proceeding through
the collaborative process, they are often interested
in learning more through a four-way meeting or at least
a meeting with a collaborative lawyer.
There is information on this site to download and show
to your spouse/ex-spouse to educate him or her about
the process. Also, we have a link to the King County
Collaborative Law website that includes
a list of lawyers in the area who practice collaboratively.
- What type of solutions can be created through the
Collaborative Law process?
This is the dynamic aspect of Collaborative Law. Thinking
collaboratively, the parties can create agreements thinking “outside
the box.” Rather
than having a third party (such as a mediator or judge)
who knows very little about you and will make decisions with
which you will have to live for a long time, you have the
freedom to custom tailor agreements to your lifestyle,
and you can problem-solve without the pressure of a court
© 2010 Storch
Law Group pllc
Law Group, PLLC serves both the Eastside Puget Sound communities of Bellevue,
Kirkland, Redmond, Issaquah and the Sammamish Plateau as well as the
Greater Seattle area as specialists in all aspects of Collaborative Family
legal issues including Collaborative Divorce, Mediation, Guardianship,
Estate/Probate law, and other Collaborative Family Law cases. Contact
Melissa Shields Storch today.
Storch Law Group, PLLC | 5400 Carillon Point, Bldg 5000, Kirkland, WA 98033 425.941.5936 fax 425.898.1534
state's collaborative law practice group