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What does collaborative law entail?

If you are confronted by the prospect of divorce, it’s incredibly important to know the legal options and resources that are available to you and your family. Collaborative law is one approach to reaching a divorce settlement that is gaining increasing popularity here in Utah and beyond, as the process encourages dispute resolution without litigation.

As the Utah State Bar Association explains, the collaborative divorce process often begins when you and your legal counsel begin discussing your options for resolving your family law dispute. Depending on you and your family’s unique circumstances, and your relationship with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, your attorney might recommend collaborative divorce mediation. You may find collaborative divorce especially appealing if you are interested in coming to a fair and reasonable divorce settlement without engaging in more adversarial measures, such as court proceedings.

Once you and your spouse decide that collaborative divorce is right for you, you and your attorneys will agree to the terms of the collaborative process. Essentially, that means that all parties agree that both attorneys will withdraw from the case in the event that you and/or your spouse decide to exit the collaborative process in favor of litigation. Next, you and the other three parties involved in the collaborative process will engage in non-adversarial dispute resolution techniques to develop a comprehensive and reasonable divorce settlement.

Your attorney will likely work with your soon-to-be ex-spouse’s attorney to plan the negotiation sessions that you will attend, and set the tone for the meetings. Similarly, you and your husband or wife will be encouraged by both your attorneys to discuss your concerns openly, in order to reach an agreement that accounts for both of your best interests. Of course, the unique nature of every divorce case means that the collaborative process can proceed in different ways. Therefore, this information should in no way be considered legal advice.


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