In order to be successful in business, owners must be able to identify and plan for legal issues that may affect their interests. The use of Alternative Dispute Resolution methods is an effective way to resolve business disputes effectively and efficiently outside the courtroom. Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) refers to a variety of processes that help parties resolve disputes without a trial. Typical ADR processes include mediation, arbitration, neutral evaluation, and collaborative law. This article addresses the ADR process of collaborative law.

Collaborative law is a process enabling couples who have decided to separate or end their marriage to work with their lawyers and, on occasion, other family professionals in order to avoid the uncertain outcome of court and to achieve a settlement that best meets the specific needs of both parties and their children without the underlying threat of litigation.

This voluntary process is initiated when the couple signs a contract (a “participation agreement”). Within the terms of the agreement, the parties promise not to go to court while they are negotiating a resolution to their conflict. The agreement states explicitly that their attorneys are hired to solely help the parties negotiate a settlement. If the process breaks down, then the parties transition to litigation attorneys.

In a collaborative divorce, time and money is not spent asserting positions and fighting over limited resources. Instead, resources are used only to help guide the parties in developing, evaluating and accepting a durable resolution that reflects the parties’ commitment to work together respectfully to turn in different directions.

For more information, please contact an experienced attorney at the law firm of Paulson & Paulson, PLC.