Family Law Specialists

Steve Fernandez and Mark Karney are both Certified Family Law Specialists* with over 50 years of combined experience.

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Los Angeles Collaborative Divorce Attorney

Los Angeles collaborative divorce attorneysGetting a divorce in Los Angeles can be a time-consuming, complex, and detailed process. It involves making important and tough decisions about asset division, child custody, child support, and maybe even alimony.

If you have a particularly complex marital estate or are unfamiliar with the laws that apply to your divorce, it can be challenging to know if you are making the best decisions. To make matters worse, you and your spouse may have difficulty agreeing to the terms of your divorce. This can cause expensive delays and make the process even more stressful than it already is. Fortunately, couples in California have the option to use collaborative law to negotiate and settle important aspects of a divorce.

What is Collaborative Divorce?

Collaborative divorce (which is also known as collaborative law) is a legal process that is often used as an alternative to court.

Instead of taking your divorce case to court, you and your spouse can agree to settle the terms of your split privately, with the assistance of your attorneys. This allows you to work toward a mutually-beneficial compromise, which can help to limit the negative emotions between you and your spouse.

Choosing collaborative divorce is a great choice for divorcing couples with children. Divorce can be stressful enough for a child without having to see their parents fighting over every little detail of the split. Collaborative divorce can allow you to work with your spouse to resolve issues amicably.

Benefits of Collaborative Divorce in Los Angeles

Choosing to resolve the issues in your divorce using collaborative law is a great first step. The fact that you and your spouse have agreed to use this alternative dispute resolution process indicates that you can work together to make important decisions. Now that you have decided to use a collaborative divorce process, you can enjoy benefits that include:

  • Avoiding a long and contested divorce;
  • Saving money by using this cost-saving process;
  • Saving time because you get to choose when and where the collaborative divorce takes place;
  • Decisions are made based on compromise, rather than the unilateral analysis of a judge;
  • Maintaining control over the final decisions; and
  • Fostering positive emotions and relationships.

Overview of the Collaborative Law Process

What should you expect from the collaborative divorce process? What steps will you have to take the prepare for a collaborative divorce? Here is a brief overview of what you should expect from the collaborative divorce process.

Deciding to Use Collaborative Law: Many spouses choose to go through the collaborative law process before you ever file divorce papers in court. Resolving the issues in your split before the papers are filed will allow you to finalize the divorce as quickly as possible.

Hiring a Collaborative Law Attorney: The collaborative law process requires that you are represented by specially-trained collaborative divorce attorneys. Contact Fernandez & Karney to set up a free consultation and learn more about our Certified Family Law Specialists.

Committing to the Process: You, your spouse, and your attorneys will be required to sign a document to pledge your allegiance to the collaborative law process. This means that neither spouse can take the divorce proceeding to court and, instead, commits to resolving the issues of the divorce using the collaborative law process. Committing to using collaborative law is essential to a successful outcome.

Preparing for the Process: You will meet with your Los Angeles collaborative divorce attorney and begin to prepare for the collaborative law sessions. During this meeting, you will explain what you would like to get out of this process and outline the issues that are most important to you. Your attorney will gather evidence, information, and witnesses that can be used to support your arguments and wishes. During this preparation process, your attorney may also consult with and hire expert witnesses (including, but not limited to, psychologists, accountants, and appraisers) whose testimony can bolster your case.

Joint Sessions: You and your attorney will sit down with your spouse and their attorney and begin to negotiate the terms of your divorce. You will each have an opportunity to explain your wishes, present evidence, and offer witness testimony. Your attorneys will generally take the lead and negotiate the nuanced legal details of the divorce. You can use as many joint sessions as you need to arrive at a mutually-agreeable resolution to your divorce.

Settlement: Once you and your spouse have agreed to the terms of your divorce your attorneys will draw up contracts to reflect those decisions. When you sign these contracts you will be bound by their terms. If, for some reason, you and your spouse can simply not agree on the terms of your divorce you will have the option to withdraw from the collaborative divorce process. However, you must both agree to withdraw and take your case to court. If you do decide to litigate the divorce you will be required to hire new divorce attorneys and must put your future in the hands of a judge. You will lose control over the outcome of the situation.

Choosing a Los Angeles Collaborative Law Attorney

How do you know which attorney is best suited to handle your collaborative divorce case? Most Los Angeles family law attorneys offer free consultations to new clients. You can use this consultation to learn about an attorney and determine if they would be a good fit. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a collaborative divorce attorney in Los Angeles:

  • Are you comfortable confiding in the attorney about personal and intimate information?
  • Do you have confidence in the attorney’s ability?
  • Has the attorney handled collaborative divorce cases in the past?
  • What specialized training has the attorney received?
  • How much will the attorney charge for his or her services?

Speak to a Los Angeles Collaborative Divorce Attorney Today

Are you thinking about getting a divorce, but aren’t sure that you and your spouse will be able to agree on the terms of the split? Do you think the issues that will need to be resolved are more complicated than you are comfortable handling on your own? Contact the Los Angeles collaborative divorce attorneys at Fernandez & Karney today to learn more about the collaborative law process.

Our Certified Family Law Specialists have more than 100 years of combined legal experience. We can help you achieve the results you want in your divorce. We know how to negotiate the best possible settlement in your case and will fight to make sure that you get what you want out of your divorce. Call us today to learn more. We will review your case, explain the collaborative law process, and answer the questions you have.