COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE - HOW IT WORKS


1. Initial Consultation
In this one-hour meeting, I provide legal information about the divorce process and inform you of your options. I also discuss my philosophy and answer questions to help you decide if collaborative divorce is the best path for you.

One 1-hour meeting  

2.  Individual Meetings
We meet privately to discuss your goals, desires, and concerns. Depending on the course of the negotiation, we may meet multiple times throughout the divorce process.

One 1-2 hour meeting to start; subsequent meetings as needed

3. Collaborative Team Meetings
We start by scheduling a series of team meetings (both spouses and lawyers). At the first meeting we review and sign the Collaborative Family Law Participation Agreement, which states our shared intention to negotiate the terms of your divorce in a collaborative fashion outside of court. In subsequent meetings, we negotiate an agreement that best meets the needs of your family. The number of meetings depends on the nature of the issues being resolved, the course of negotiations, and whether or not outside professionals are brought in for consultation.

Varies – from three to eight 3-hour sessions

4. Finalize the Divorce
When you have reached resolution on all issues, the lawyers prepare a formal divorce agreement. Once the agreement is signed by all parties, the lawyers file the documents required to finalize your divorce.


DIVORCE MEDIATION - HOW IT WORKS


1. Initial Phone Consultation
In a brief phone call I will  provide legal information about the divorce process, inform you of your options, and answer questions. I also review my philosophy and process so you know what to expect if you choose to proceed with mediation. By the end of this discussion, you and your spouse are able to decide which process works best for you and your family.


2. Individual Meetings
For mediation to be the most effective, it is important that you are able to communicate in a way that your spouse can hear. The goal of these individual meetings is to prepare each of you for successful mediation. I also provide you with a list of financial documents and other information to gather prior to the first session (See How do I prepare for mediation?).

One 1- hour meeting individually with each spouse

3. Mediation Sessions
We start the mediation process by reviewing and signing the Agreement to Mediate. Then we create the mediation agenda. If needed, we create interim agreements to address living arrangements, parenting plans, or financial matters until final agreements are reached. We continue to meet until all issues are resolved in a mutually agreeable fashion.

Varies – from two to eight 2-3 hour meetings with both spouses

4. Memorandum of Understanding
When the mediation is complete, I prepare a Memorandum of Understanding that outlines all of your agreements in detail.

Estimated 3-4 hours, my time only

5. Independent Legal Advice
Each spouse takes the Memorandum of Understanding to their own lawyer for independent legal advice. The lawyers use the agreement to create a legally binding agreement.

6. Finalize the Divorce
One of your lawyers files the documents required to finalize your divorce.