Collaborative Law is a legal process enabling couples who have decided to separate or end their marriage to work with their lawyers, financial professionals, and coaches 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 contested litigation. The voluntary process is initiated when the couple signs a contract (called the “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.
The collaborative process can be used to facilitate a broad range of other family issues, including disputes between parents and the drawing up of pre and post-marital contracts. The traditional method of drawing up pre-marital contracts is oppositional, and many couples prefer to begin their married life on a better footing where documents are drawn up consensually and together.
HOW CAN I HELP?
With extensive collaborative and mediation training, over 30 years of financial experience, and over 20 years of family law experience, I can function as the Financial Specialist/Neutral on your Collaborative Team. The benefits of having a Financial Neutral can be any of the following:
As a neutral, speaking one on one to both parties gains the TRUST of both parties; which thereby makes it easier to gain information and explore options.
Assess current budgets; and help create post-divorce budgets.
Gather financial data; assess current values of assets
Assess income tax implications of various scenarios.
Assessment and implications of bankruptcy and/or foreclosure.
Provide guidance to non-working spouse regarding various financial decisions, such as:
- Health insurance
- Home purchase v. rent
- Car purchase v. lease