Collaborative Family Law

Joining My Spouse/
Collaborative Divorce

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Collaborative Divorce Q&A

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Joining My Spouse/Ex-Spouse's Collaborative Divorce:
Collaborative Divorce Q&A
  1. What is Collaborative Law?

    Collaborative Law is a powerful way to resolve disputes by collaborating towards a mutual solution that solves a problem or dispute. In ohter words, it is a constructive way to create agreements that work for everyone involved.
  2. How does Collaborative Law differ from mediation?

    The collaborative law process may also include working with a larger team of experts including a financial planner, divorce counselor/coach, and/or a parenting evaluator. Each expert is trained in the collaborative law model, and each is equipped to effectively advise and plan in their area of expertise, so that the overall cost of fees for the team is still much less than the typical lawyer fees generated in litigation. Another team benefit is greater efficiency than a lawyer working on many different types of issues simultaneously. The collaborative team approach can be very effective, because people who are trained to resolve, manage, and advise on specific concerns are part of the problem-solving approach.

    As a helpful guide and takeaway for clients, the workbook entitled a "Handbook for Clients," written by Pauline Tesler, is available at our office for each client during the initial consultation.
  3. How is Collaborative Law different from conventional courtroom litigation?

    As illustrated on the previous page, 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 $4,000 with a les s 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 you and your spouse are not willing to participate openly and honestly, the collaborative process will likely 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 may consider a cooperative process or unbundled services, with an amicable context.  Or, you may have to take the conventional approach to resolving your dispute, if you find that you need an advocate or protection. 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 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, your family values, 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

Washington Collaborative Law
Washington state's collaborative law practice group