Washington Collaborative Divorce Lawyer
Collaborative divorce, also known as collaborative practice, is a legal process enabling couples who have decided to separate or end their marriage to work with their Washington divorce lawyers and, on occasion, other family professionals in order to avoid the uncertain outcome of court and to achieve a settlement that best meets the specific needs of both parties and their children without the underlying threat of litigation.
Definition of a Collaborative Divorce
The idea behind collaborative divorce is that two smart adults who, at one time, worked together on many issues, can work together to end their relationship, divide their assets and liabilities, and provide for their children, better than any judge. After all, a judge will never live your life, will never “see inside your head,” and will never have a day in the park with your children.
The voluntary process is initiated when the couple signs a contract (a “participation agreement”) binding each other to the process and disqualifying their respective lawyer’s right to represent either one in any future family-related litigation.
A collaborative divorce can be a healing process. It is not adversarial, in the sense that there are no motions in the court and the court does not play a role in imposing solutions. A collaborative divorce is much more private than a traditional divorce. There are usually many collaborative meetings, but the parties avoid going to court and having their attorneys argue to the judge—in very public hearings–about who should get what and who is the “best” parent. Traditional proceedings are often very hurtful and can leave lifetime mental scars as they require your attorneys to fight for you and make comparisons, to argue who is more entitled to what, and who is comparatively the best parent, in order to help you get everything you can and to obtain custody of your children. Collaborative divorces can avoid the additional wounds and scars that traditional divorce proceedings cause.
How a Lawyer Can Help
If a collaborative divorce sounds like something you would like to explore, mention that to our receptionist when you call. Our attorneys are collaborative trained and can answer your questions and explore whether collaborative divorce is right for you.