The Collaborative approach to divorce emphasizes communication and cooperation, rather than conflict. It helps couples avoid the expensive and uncertain outcome of a court battle. In a Collaborative Divorce, each party has a specially-trained lawyer and the benefit of neutral family relations specialists and financial experts. The professionals work as a team to help the spouses craft a settlement that best meets their individual needs as well as the needs of their children.
All members must be licensed in the State of New Jersey in the fields of law, finance or mental health and must complete at least 16 hours of collaborative training and required mediation training. Further, all members are committed to participate in at least 4 hours of additional trainings each year.
Collaborative Divorce Attorneys, or Collaboratively Trained Lawyers are highly skilled family law attorneys who are experienced in negotiation and mediation techniques. NJCLG attorneys must receive special training in the collaborative law process as well as in mediation. A Collaborative attorney will assist the client in identifying their needs and interests, discuss all legal and practical options, brainstorm solutions, negotiate a settlement, and prepare the court documents necessary to finalize the divorce. The attorney provides legal support throughout the process.
The Collaborative Divorce Coach is a fundamental member of the collaborative divorce team, helping to preserve the mental and emotional health of the divorcing couple. The Coach is a licensed mental health professional with specialized training in Collaborative Practice and mediation techniques. They assist each spouse and the team professionals in communicating effectively within the process.
Financial Specialists help you gather, understand, organize and value your financial assets. They identify and clarify financial goals and interests and comprehend short and long term implications of settlement options. The financial specialist is a licensed professional, and meets additional training requirements to qualify him or her to handle the unique financial challenges presented in divorce and family law cases.
The Collaborative Divorce approach allows you and your spouse the opportunity to work together to create a healthy co-parenting relationship that is beneficial for your children. Divorce does not end a family – it merely ends a chapter in the family’s united history. The Collaborative approach minimizes the negative impact on your children, by allowing you and your spouse parents to transition from a relationship bonded by marriage to one bonded by healthy co-parenting. The combined efforts of the Collaboratively-Trained Family Support Specialist, Financial Expert, and Attorneys offer the support and resources necessary to successfully address all aspects of your divorce – emotional, financial and legal.
Actually, using the Collaborative Divorce approach is usually less costly than litigation. The costs are manageable because you and your spouse have total control over the process. In litigation, the Judge controls the process, the costs are unpredictable and they can escalate rapidly because of the formal procedural requirements imposed by court system and the greater incidence of post-judgment litigation by dissatisfied litigants.
To start the Collaborative Divorce process we suggest you contact one of our Collaboratively trained divorce professionals. Our professionals would welcome the opportunity to speak with you and go over any questions you may have regarding the Collaborative Divorce process. You can find a list of our trained professionals in your area by clicking on this “Find a Professional “ Tab.
You can either obtain referrals from your Collaborative Divorce Attorney, other Collaborative Divorce Professionals, or direct your spouse to the Member Search section of this website (click here).
Every case is different, and the NJCLG recognizes that. So, while not all cases may be ideal for the Collaborative Divorce Practice, there is no guarantee that other processes will be ideal for your circumstances either. It is critically important that you discuss the circumstances of your situation with a collaborative professional. Great care must be taken to assess the likelihood of successfully navigating the Collaborative Divorce process. Spouses find that Collaborative Divorce provides additional support that no other process can. If you are unsure if collaborative divorce would fit your needs, please feel free to contact any of our professionals for a case analysis. Your Collaborative Divorce Professional is in the best position to help determine whether or not the Collaborative Divorce Practice is appropriate for you.
Yes. Both spouses can direct their litigating attorneys to request that the case be withdrawn for a period of time, in order to permit them to attempt to resolve all issues through Collaborative practice.
If you and your spouse wish to opt out of a litigated case and are interested in exploring Collaborative Practice, you should contact one of our Collaborative Divorce Attorneys (click here)
Yes. Collaborative Practice can work for many types of family law matters other than divorce, such as child custody/parenting time, child support, postnuptial agreements, and post-divorce matters.
Collaborative Practice is particularly helpful in cases where both parents put the needs of their children first, but require legal guidance or other support to reach agreement.
It is also well suited to other types of case where preserving continuing relationships is an important factor, such as those involving estate matters, elder law issues, and business partnership claims.