New York Collaborative Family Law Attorney
Collaborative law is a relatively new approach to reaching divorce settlement agreements in the Central New York area. It is not about having a trial and being told by a judge what constitutes a fair settlement. Akin to mediation, collaborative law is usually practiced by way of four-way meetings consisting of divorcing spouses and their respective attorneys. Collaborative law is also about showing your soon-to-be ex-spouse the respect that he or she deserves as parent of your children. It is a process that allows spouses to have control over the future of their family as opposed to a judge dictating the parameters of their divorce.
Assuming there has been no domestic violence in your marriage, you and your Husband or Wife may be good candidates for the collaborative law process if the following can be said of both of you:
- You are committed to being open and honest about your assets and debts and factors affecting your children.
- You like the idea of working on your own terms, outside of court, to determine a fair division of property, a viable and workable parenting schedule and support of your child and spouse.
- You are willing to work with financial advisors and other professionals, if necessary, to help determine what is truly best financially for both of you and your children after one or the other of you has moved out or is planning to move out.
- You like the idea of settling your personal family matters in private rather than in the public forum of courtroom.
Individual Advocacy in a Four-Way Setting
Your relationship with your lawyer will still be one of advocacy even if you do not take your divorce to the courtroom. You and your attorney still have the opportunity to meet one-on-one apart from your spouse and his or her attorney in the four-way session.
In addition to meeting with your Husband or Wife and his or her lawyer, you may have the opportunity to meet and work with appropriate specialists, such as tax and financial experts and child psychologists.
In the event that either you or your spouse chooses to opt out of the collaborative law process and pursue traditional litigation, both parties will have to start over with new attorneys. Because of this rule, both spouses will hopefully be highly motivated to give the collaborative method their best efforts.
Contact us at Elisabeth A. Barker, Attorney at Law, regarding a divorce and/or separation and the processes of mediation, litigation and/or collaborative law. A direct and candid conversation with an attorney may help you determine whether collaborative law is the best method for you and your family in resolving your marital issues of custody, support and equitable distribution.