Collaborative law is a civilized private approach to solving legal problems without the necessity of Court involvement. The most common setting is in family law. The couple works with a "coach” (a trained mental health professional) on issues involving their family dynamics, co-parenting concerns, emotional "hot buttons” and communication strategies, which help the parties address the legal issues in the divorce process with less stress and animosity. A financial professional is involved to work through the couples’ finances and help create a financial plan to meet the needs of both parties. While issue resolution is completely up to the parties and their counsel, this environment is less stressful, less antagonistic and generally less expensive than conventional adversarial family law practice. Along the way the parties learn skills that will assist them in problem solving post divorce issues that can reduce or eliminate future additional legal expense.
The collaborative process commences with the parties and their attorneys signing a contract that obligates all to resolution without court involvement. The contract includes an express provision that bars court involvement in decision making and obligates the attorneys to withdraw and the parties to retain new counsel if the collaborative process breaks down. This keeps all parties invested in working out a resolution that helps both parties move forward, while avoiding the expense and stress of extended litigation.
The attorneys that offer collaborative law, including our office, are specially trained in the collaborative process. Attorney Catherine McKay is at the forefront of collaborative law in New Hampshire and is ready to help you avoid the expense of litigation. Contact our office today to see how this training can help you.