Collaborative Family Law

The end of a marriage or relationship can be tragic enough.  Often, the process of divorcing only adds to the pain.  You and your spouse or partner may come to see each other as adversaries and the divorce as a battleground.  You may experience feelings of confusion, anger, loss and conflict.  Under such circumstances, you might find it difficult to see an end to divorce, much less imagine a hopeful future afterwards.

But it doesnít have to be this way.  A growing number of parting couples, along with other professionals such as lawyers, mental health professionals and financial specialists, have been seeking a more constructive alternative.  These professionals have developed the Collaborative Family Law model.

Collaborative Family Law is a reasonable approach to divorce based on three principles:

  • A pledge not to go to court
  • An honest exchange of information by both spouses
  • A solution that takes into account the highest priorities of both adults and their children.

Mutual respect is fundamental to the collaborative way.  You may cease being spouses, but you donít cease being worthy human beings.  When respect is given and received, discussions are likely to be more productive and an agreement reached more easily.

A Pledge To Collaborate

The key difference between Collaborative Family Law and conventional divorce is the pledge to reach an agreement before going to court.  You and your spouse keep control of the decisions yourselves, rather than giving it up to a judge.  In order to accomplish that, all of the parties consent in writing to be part of a respectful process that leads to an out-of-court resolution.  With Collaborative Family Law, the goal is to develop effective relationships, solve problems jointly, and prevent a court battle.

Open Communication

Even under the best of circumstances, communication can be strained as a relationship is ending.  Yet keeping the lines of communication open is essential for reaching an agreement.  Collaborative Family Law provides for face-to-face meetings with you, your spouse, your respective lawyers and your team as needed.  These sessions are intended to produce an honest exchange of information and expression of needs and expectations.  When the issues are openly discussed, problem solving can be direct and solutions-oriented.

An Agreement Everyone Can Live With

If youíve reached a decision about separation, you may be reassured to know that Collaborative Family Law focuses on attaining resolution.  The collaborative model is designed to protect the interests of children and help you and your spouse move forward with new lives.  Throughout, the collaborative process emphasizes cooperating to find solutions.  And instead of being an endless airing of grievances, Collaborative Family Law encourages people to reach a workable settlement by building on areas of mutual agreement.

Support When You Need It

Divorce usually involves many considerations, from concern for children to financial questions to property matters.  Along with handling the overall emotional impact, managing by yourself can be difficult.  For that reason, Collaborative Family Law offers you a supportive approach.  You and your lawyer work as a team.  Other professionals including mental health professionals, child specialists, and financial specialists can become part of your team, helping find constructive solutions to deal with separationís wide-ranging issues and establish goals for the future.

A Focus On The Future

Divorce ends a marriage but need not sever family ties or relationships.  Especially when children are involved, lifelong responsibilities remain.  By preserving respect and encouraging cooperation, Collaborative Family Law helps parents and children keep family bonds while embracing new lives.  Divorce will always remain a significant life event.  In the face of it, Collaborative Family Law can lead you and your families to a compassionate ending, and a healthy new beginning. 

The Collaborative Team

Going through divorce or separation can make you feel isolated and alone, unsure of where to turn for support and advice.  Unlike conventional legal process, Collaborative Family Law offers you a team of skilled and compassionate professionals.  Each expert in their own fields, the team members help you manage the many aspects of divorceóthe legal issues, the emotional turmoil, the concerns for children and the financial and property questions.  With such support youíll feel more in control of the process itself, and better equipped to begin a new life afterwards.

Collaborative Lawyer:  Though Collaborative Family Law seeks to avoid going to court, the settlement is still a legal agreement.  Therefore, it is essential that a lawyer be involved to advise you on all matters of law, from child custody and support to maintenance agreements to financial settlements to financial settlements and property distribution.  Collaborative lawyers have made a commitment to the unique practice of the collaborative model.

Divorce Coach:  Divorce is a major life transition; while it marks the end of one part of your life, it is also the beginning of another.  A mental health professional helps you manage the pain and strain of changing relationships, while focusing on goals for the present and the future.  Working with you to make the most of your strengths, your mental health professional assists you in being at your best during the divorce process, then taking positive steps to a new life.

Financial Specialist:  The divorce settlement will in part determine your financial well-being for many years to come.  It is critical that it be soundly structured, especially if your spouse assumed more responsibility for your familyís finances.  The guidance of a financial specialist will help protect your interests.  Reviewing all assets and incomes, the financial specialist will assist you in analyzing viable financial options for your future.  Evaluating the choices, you and your lawyer can then construct a comprehensive plan for the next stage of your life.

Child Specialist:  Children may suffer most from divorce, and be least able to understand or express their feelings.  Their world is being turned upside down in ways that they cannot begin to comprehend.  Communication with parents may be difficult, if not impossible.  A goal of Collaborative Family Law is to assure that children are a priority, not a casualty.  The child specialist, an individual skilled in understanding children, will meet with your children privately, assisting them in expressing their feelings and concerns about the divorce.  Encouraging children to think creatively about the future, the child specialist then communicates their feelings, concerns and hopes to the tam to consider when planning for the childrenís lives.

Financial  Settlement  Solutions, LLC
1001  Fourth  Ave,  Suite 3200
Seattle, WA   98102

206.953.1231   -   866.953.1231
Fax 206.260.2993

Financial Settlement Solutions does not provide legal or tax advice.

Financial Settlement Solutions LLC is a Washington Limited Liability Company registered as an Investment Advisor with the State of Washington.  Financial Settlement Solutions LLC will only transact business with persons living within the State of Washington.  Transactions or business will not be engaged in with anyone residing outside the State of Washington.