What is Collaborative Law?

  • 02 Oct 2012

In Collaborative law, two sets of clients and attorneys work together in order to mutually agree on a settlement. In addition, trained professionals with specific areas of expertise, such as financial analysts and parenting counselors may be brought in when necessary to assist with the construction of the agreement. Both clients agree to open and honest with all the information that is needed to create a fair, uncontroversial agreement that benefits both sides as well as any other members of their family that may be involved. [1]

By following through with this collaborative effort, the parties are agreeing that they do not want to put their decision making into the hands of a judge, or deal with the time and emotional and monetary expense that comes with litigation. Outside of avoiding court and saving money, there are additional benefits to collaborative law as well. The client is far more in charge of the situation than they would be if it was in litigation. As such, the proceedings are far less stressful and the client is guaranteed to be happy with the agreement that they come up with as opposing to what is ordered upon them. Furthermore, the client is able to participate and voice their opinion and wishes far more than the alternative. Perhaps the most important benefit in cases that involve custody is that the collaborative approach works to “insulate” the children, by proceeding in a way to best minimize the impact of the divorce on them. [2] [3] [4]

The entire process of collaborative divorce in Maryland is different than that of a traditional divorce. When a couple decides that collaborative divorce is the option they want to take, the clients and lawyers will conduct a series of face-to-face meetings that identify every issue that is in dispute. Rather than blame one side for any of the conflicts, the parties work together to agree on a solution that is mutually beneficial. Also, collaborative lawyers are specifically trained in collaborative law. If the parties cannot come to a mutual agreement and decide to pursue traditional litigation, the clients must hire new lawyers to handle it. If either lawyer learns that their client is not being forthcoming during the meetings, they are required to withdraw from the case, or they are considered to be participating in bad faith. Being that these meetings are completely confidential, if the case does end up in litigation; any disclosures that were made during the collaborative process cannot be used against either party during the follow up proceedings. [5] Only a qualified and experienced collaborative law attorney in Maryland can handle such cases. The attorney will also be familiar with the local laws in Rockville, MD, Greenbelt, MD, Annapolis, MD and Frederick, MD.

Collaborative law can be a very beneficial option for couples to take. Not only does it save money, but by working together, clients can avoid all of the aggressiveness that leads to bitter feelings and stress that may come with litigation. To contact a collaborative law attorney in Rockville, MD, Greenbelt, MD, Annapolis, MD, Frederick, MD or anywhere else in Maryland, call The Law Offices of Sandra Guzman-Salvado at (301) 340-1911 to discuss your options.






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