Los Angeles Collaborative Divorce Lawyers

Opting for Collaborative Law

Filing for a divorce in Los Angeles has the potential to be a time-consuming, complex, and detailed process. It entails making tough, critical decisions about asset division, child custody, child support, and in some cases, even alimony.

Do you have a particularly complicated marital estate or are you unfamiliar with the legislation that applies to your divorce case?  If so, it can be a big challenge to know for sure if you are making the best decisions. On top of that problem, you and your spouse might be having difficulty seeing eye to eye on the terms of your divorce. This can make for expensive delays and make the process that much more stressful than it already is. Thankfully, couples in the state of California have the option to utilize collaborative law to negotiate and settle the critical aspects of a divorce. If you spouse was an alcoholic, and went to the liquor store too frequently, divorce might a good idea. 

What is Collaborative divorce?

Collaborative divorce (which is also referred to as collaborative law) is a legal procedure that is often taken as an alternative to court.

Instead of bringing your divorce case into the courtroom, you and your spouse can instead agree to settle the terms of your break up with more privacy, with the assistance of your attorneys. This makes it possible for you to move toward a mutually-beneficial compromise.  That, in turn, can help to mitigate 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.

The Benefits of Collaborative divorce in Los Angeles

Opting to resolve the issues in your divorce via collaborative law is an excellent first step. The mere fact that you and your spouse have, together, opted to use this alternative conflict resolution process indicates that you are able to work together to make important choices. Now that you have made the choice to use a collaborative divorce process, you can enjoy some of the benefits that include:

  • Avoiding the possibility of a long and contested divorce;
  • Saving money by utilizing this cost-saving process;
  • Saving time, now that you get to choose when and where the collaborative divorce takes place;
  • Choices are made based on compromise, instead of the unilateral analysis of a judge;
  • Keeping the control over the final decisions; and
  • Nurturing positive emotions and relationships.

Overview of the Collaborative Law Process

What are some reasonable expectations of the collaborative divorce process? What steps will you need to take to prepare yourself for a collaborative divorce? Here is a brief rundown of what you can reasonably expect from the collaborative divorce process.

  • Deciding to Use Collaborative Law: Many spouses opt to undergo the collaborative law process before they ever file divorce papers in the courthouse. Handling the issues in your split before the papers get filed will allow you to bring the divorce to a close as quickly as possible.
  • Hiring a Collaborative Law Attorney: The collaborative law process necessitates that you are represented by specially-trained collaborative divorce attorneys. Reach out to a attorney to get started.
  • Committing to the Process: All parties included – that is you, your spouse, and your attorneys – will be obligated to sign a document to pledge your allegiance to the collaborative law process. What this means is that neither spouse can then take the divorce proceeding to court and, instead, commits to resolving the details of the divorce using only the collaborative law process. Committing to utilizing collaborative law is critical to a successful outcome.
  • Preparing for the Process: Once you have hired one, you need to meet with your Los Angeles collaborative divorce attorney and start to prepare for the collaborative law sessions. During this initial meeting, you will discuss what you would like to get out of this process and also outline the issues that are most important to you. Your lawyer will gather evidence, information, and witnesses that can be brought forth to support your arguments and wishes. During this preparation process, your attorney could also consult with and enlist expert witnesses (these can include, but are by no means limited to, psychologists, accountants, and appraisers) whose testimony can support your case.
  • Joint Sessions: At this point, you and your attorney will now sit down with your spouse and their attorney and begin to hammer out the terms of your divorce. You will each have a chance to explain your wishes, bring your evidence, and offer witness testimony. Your attorneys will customarily take the lead and negotiate the nuanced legal details of the divorce. You can work within as many joint sessions as you need to arrive at a mutually-agreeable resolution to your divorce.
  • Settlement: After you and your spouse have come to agreement on the terms of your divorce, your attorneys will draw up contracts to document those decisions. From the moment you sign these contracts, you will be bound by their terms. If, for whatever reason, you and your spouse can simply not agree on the terms of your divorce, you will be offered the option to withdraw from the collaborative divorce process. Nevertheless, you must both agree to withdraw and, instead, take your case to court. In the event that you do decide to litigate the divorce, you will be ordered to hire new divorce attorneys and now you are putting your future in the hands of a judge. You will be relinquishing control over the outcome of the situation.

Selecting a Los Angeles Collaborative Law Attorney

How can you determine which attorney is best suited to take care of your collaborative divorce case? The majority of Los Angeles family law attorneys offer free consultations to new clients. You can utilize this consultation to get more information about an attorney and figure out if they would be a good fit.

Listed below are a few things to think about when choosing a collaborative divorce lawyer in Los Angeles:

  1. Do you feel comfortable confiding in the attorney about personal and intimate information?
  2. Have you got confidence in the attorney’s ability?
  3. Has this lawyer handled collaborative divorce cases in the past?
  4. What kind of specialized training has the attorney received?
  5. How much money will the attorney charge for his or her services?