Brian K. Tackett

Handling family issues requires patience, finesse and mutual respect if relationships are to remain amiable following a disagreement. Sometimes issues within the family can become so heated or complicated that they escalate into situations where going to court sounds like the most reasonable method of settling the complication. But before deciding to go to court, it may be a wise decision to consider settling family issues by employing collaborative family law.

What is Collaborative Family Law?

Collaborative family law is a relatively new law approach used to settle disagreements within the family that oftentimes relate to divorce or child custody arrangements. As a part of alternative dispute resolution, collaborative family law is a legal process by which couples who want to end their marriages can do so in a manner that sidesteps going to court. Further, collaborative family law is a voluntary process that enables the parties involved to work alongside their attorneys to come up with a settlement agreement that is most favorable for everyone. This process can apply to areas other than divorce, including guardianship and probate. It’s important to note that if collaborative family law does not help the feuding parties come to an agreeable solution, the process comes to a close, and the attorneys helping with the process are banned from any further involvement in the matter.

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What are the Benefits of Collaborative Family Law?

Collaborative family law can be a beneficial process for all parties involved in a familial disagreement, especially if they are willing to compromise, listen and talk things out. Some of the most noteworthy benefits of collaborative family law are:

  • A More Peaceful Environment – By design, collaborative family law allows the feuding parties to air out their differences in a respectful manner and in an environment that is a lot more peaceful and conducive to collaboration than the courtroom.
  • Transparency – Collaborative family law calls for both parties to disclose and discuss all their issues and any associated paperwork and or documents. The goal is to get everything out in the open in order to come to a well-rounded solution for the issue(s).
  • Expert Involvement – The collaborative family law process allows for outside experts (e.g., child therapists, accountants, real estate appraisers, consultants and the like) to be called upon for their expertise and to weigh in on the issues at hand.
  • Mutually Agreeable Solutions – The whole idea of collaborative family law is to allow the disputants to agree on a settlement that takes everybody’s wants and needs into consideration. This process allows people to compromise and makes no clear distinction between winner and loser.
  • No Litigation – Going to court can be quite expensive and time consuming. Collaborative family law allows the parties involved to avoid the lengthy, complicated litigation process and settle out of court.

If you’re interested in avoiding going to court for your family issue, consider contacting one of our family attorneys who specializes in collaborative family law.