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My Own Collaborative Divorce:
Collaborative Divorce Q&A
  1. 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.

  2. 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 solutions. Collaborative lawyers are not objective as a mediator, but rather involved and invested in finding a solution with integrity.

  3. How is Collaborative Law different from conventional courtroom litigation?

    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.

  4. 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 or effective.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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 hearing looming.

 

 

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Storch 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

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Washington Collaborative Law
Washington state's collaborative law practice group