When you think of divorce, you may think of nothing but conflict and contest. This is often the case, unfortunately, and is the main cause for divorces that drag on and on. Collaborative law is a legal process that seeks to avoid the authority, cost and conflict of the court system, saving the family from the stress of litigation.

Collaborative law courts have been established across California that take an alternative approach to the traditional court process, thus saving precious California court resources.

Though collaborative law may seem friendly and conflict-free, the collaborate law approach to divorce is definitely not for everyone. If your divorce is contested and your spouse were far from being able to agree on certain issues, there would be nothing collaborative about your divorce. Complex property division disputes or major disagreements over custody and residential allocations may not be successfully overcome through the collaborative approach. Collaborative law is a little like mediation. Two parties are given assistance to be able to reach agreement, through compromise, on the contested issues.

The goal of collaborative law is to provide solutions to problems that you cannot solve on your own and that you do not want a judge to decide upon. The collaborative law divorce process involves a couple and then a few professional advocates to help you find solutions to your issues. Attorneys, parenting evaluators, therapists and financial experts all may step in to direct you and your spouse to reasonable and recommended solutions.

Traditional mediation is slightly different; it makes use of a neutral third party that helps you come to a conclusion that satisfies both parties. Mediators, however, do not provide legal guidance or instruction, though they may take some of the control out of your hands. They mainly facilitate open and honest communication in order to encourage compromise and agreement in a timely manner. If you and your spouse are open and willing to be upfront and prompt with disclosure of all information needed, wish to make every decision about your divorce yourself and can put in a good faith effort at reaching compromise, the collaborative law approach may be for you.

Collaborative law lets you take your divorce into your own hands, which can provide some people with great comfort. However, if you do not know what is best for you and your children, or you feel your spouse’s views on things are vastly different than yours, collaborative law may not be successful for you.

If you are in the Los Angeles area and have questions about the different approaches to divorce, Certified Family Law Specialist Steven Fernandez can help. Attorney Steven Fernandez has significant experience handling amicable divorces and contested, litigated cases as well. Call our Los Angeles office at 310-564-5710; email us at intake@cfli.com or contact us through our online form today to schedule a free consultation.