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Collaborative Practice

What is Collaborative Practice?

Collaborative Law, Collaborative Practice, Collaborative Process, and Collaborative Divorce are terms often used to mean the same thing. The Collaborative Approach can be applied to a wide range of legal disputes. “Collaborative Divorce” refers to specifically to the resolution of family law disputes (e.g. divorce, custody and domestic partnerships). Pasadena Collaborative Divorce specializes in the Collaborative legal resolution of divorce-related disputes.

“Civil Collaborative Practice” employs the same non-adversarial, cooperative approach to civil disputes, such as business, real property, employment law, construction law, intellectual property and other areas, such as probate law. Trust & Estates matters greatly benefit from the Collaborative Approach while preserving family relationships. Collaborative Practice protocols may be used to resolve any disputes where the participants would like to sustain a civil relationship and avoid the typically higher costs of litigation, provided the professionals are adequately trained.

All California Collaborative Practice groups are members of CPCal.org (excellent resource for clients!), and committed to the Collaborative Process, an approach for solving problems by reaching mutually agreeable solutions. Clients and professionals work together, respectfully, to gather the information needed to reach an agreement. The goal is a win/win situation for all participants.

Typically clients and professionals meet together in different configurations based on clear protocols that guide information gathering, making interim arrangements, and discussing issues. Clients select the team which must be explicitly trained in collaborative practice and mediation, and experience within the relevant field of law (e.g. family law, probate).

Collaborative Divorce requires that that clients select 2 attorneys, a neutral financial specialist, 2 communications coaches and a neutral child specialist (these latter roles are filled by licensed mental health specialists; the child specialist is selected even for adult children, based on the Divorce Coaches’ recommendations to ensure adult children are kept out of the middle). Other professionals may be included.

Information gathered is shared with the other clients and team members to clarify each participant’s interests, and to generate win-win options for possible solutions. All communications made during the Collaborative Process remain private to the team and participants, and may not be used as evidence if the case later goes to court.

The guiding principles of Collaborative Process remain the same, regardless of the area of law to which they are applied. Clients and Collaborative Professionals agree at the outset that the case will be settled, not contested in court. If the case cannot be settled, all professionals must withdraw, and attorneys assist participants with finding new attorneys to continue with a traditional litigated court process. Even in these cases, often some groundwork has been laid for a more effective way for clients to work together to resolve their differences in court.

The main goal of Collaborative Practice: An agreement which considers the needs and interests of all clients. The Collaborative Method of handling conflict aims to minimize hostility, reduce unnecessary stress and costs, and enhance communication skills to allow participants the possibility of a cordial and respectful relationship in the future.

Review our bios and call any PCD professional to get started. Ask for and receive FREE up to 30 minutes per family to discuss different divorce process options, by phone, with any PCD professional!