- Full Disclosure. In a collaborative law both parties provide all information relevant to the case. There are no formal discovery processes – no time or money spent on depositions or document requests. Both parties provide everything needed – if someone needs more, they ask and agree to disclose it. Both parties must have all the information they need to generate options and make decisions.
- Confidential Process. The information discussed an the options generated are confidential and shall not be disclosed until final resolutions are reached. Divorce is not a confidential process by default. Indeed, the court process is quite transparent. In collaborative, however, the information discussed and shared is not disclosed until the very end. This provides for a more thorough process overall.
- Neutral Experts. All experts shall be neutral. They will be chosen by both parties together (often recommended by other professionals) and operate in an on-adversarial manner. Their expertise benefits both parties.
- Professionals Limited in Representation. The collaborative professionals on a case can only work in one role – settlement. The professionals cannot represent you in any other matter and in any other capacity. Your collaborative attorney cannot represent you in a court process. A mental health professional (child specialist or coach) cannot provide therapy. And the financial neutrals cannot also solicit your financial planning business. Everyone has one purpose and one role – to help you find collaborative resolutions.
Collaborative law requires experienced professionals and clients willing to work together to find resolutions for their family law matters. It is a unique, non-adversarial process that provides an alternative to a traditional, litigation. It is a respectful process that depends upon four main tenants.