All acknowledge that the essence of "Collaborative Law" is the shared belief by the participants that it is in the best interests of parties and their families in typical family law matters to commit themselves to avoiding litigation. Therefore they adopt this conflict resolution process, which does not rely on a court-imposed resolution, but relies on an atmosphere of honesty, cooperation, integrity and professionalism geared toward the future well-being of the family.
The goal is to minimize, if not eliminate, the negative economic, social and emotional consequences of protracted litigation to the participants and their families. The participants commit themselves to the collaborative law process and agree to seek a better way to resolve differences justly and equitably.
No Court or Other Intervention
- Issues will be resolved without court intervention.
- The parties will give full, honest and open disclosure of all information, whether requested or not.
- There will be informal discussions and conferences to settle all issues.
- The parties direct all attorneys, accountants, therapists, appraisers and other consultants to work in a cooperative effort to resolve issues without resort to litigation or any other external decision-making process except as agreed upon.
Negotiation in Good Faith
The parties acknowledge that each of their attorneys is independent from the other, and represents only one party in the collaborative law process.
All understand that the process, even with full and honest disclosure, will involve vigorous good faith negotiation.
Each of the parties will be expected to make a reasoned statement of legitimate needs and interests in all disputes. Where such legitimate needs and interests differ, each of the parties will be encouraged to use their best efforts to create proposals that meet the fundamental needs of both of the parties and the family to reach a settlement of all issues.
Although the participants may discuss the likely outcome of a litigated result, no one will use threats of litigation as a way of forcing settlement.