Collaborative Law FAQs

Q: If I cannot resolve my dispute through collaborative law can I also use Shah and Kishore to represent my in court for my legal dispute?

A: No you cannot. As per the Participation Agreement in Collaborative Law both parties’ lawyer will immediately pull out of the process forcing both parties to hire new representation should they decide to proceed with litigation.

Q: Who can help me in the Collaborative law process?

A: Aside from the individually hired attorneys there are many trained professionals you can enlist to help you in the Collaborative law process.

Family Relations Specialist: The family relations specialist is a trained mental health professional who has training dealing with divorces and other family law matters. Their primary goal is to observe and maintain emotionally and psychologically stable discussions and sessions. The family relations specialists, in addition to working with both parties works directly with the other professionals to give them insight on the emotional backgrounds surrounding the case. The specialist is there for emotional support and guidance in order to ensure a productive collaborative session.

Child Specialist: The child specialist acts as the voice of the child since children cannot be present during the sessions. This person is a neutral professional, not siding with either parent and always keeps the best interest of the child in mind. He/she is a licensed mental health professional trained in helping both parents and children deal with divorce, separation and any other family law issues.

Financial Specialist: This person helps assist both parties without prejudice on all financial matters with the best interest of the family as a whole. This person is a certified financial planner practitioner, or consultant and will have experience working with divorce and family law cases.

Spiritual Leader: This person is an unbiased experienced spiritual leader in the religion practiced by both parties. This person would have to be agreed upon by both parties. In the case of differences of religions two different spiritual leaders may be hired and they will work together to guide both parties in making decisions for the family that will lead to a positive emotional and spiritual life. They provide different perspectives on the issues surrounding the family and aim to provide clarity and focus in the collaborative session.

Q: How can collaborative law help me with my divorce?

A: Collaborative law is faster. Disputes solved during collaborative law can be resolved in as fast as a few days. Some issues can take up to two months to resolve however in any case it is shorter than a lengthy divorce case in the court system that can take several months. Divorce cases require months of preparation from both sides, a trial and post-litigation. Collaborative law cuts out the hassle and prevents hurt feelings from being prolonged.

Collaborative law is cheaper. Making the decision to end the marriage is never an easy one, however with collaborative law that decision does not have break the bank. It is hard enough transitioning into life as divorced families without worrying about making ends meet with expensive litigation fees.

Collaborative law is private. Information shared during collaborative law sessions are private and held to a strict confidentiality code unlike cases in the court. Court files are open to the public and virtually anyone can have access to them. This way, what happens in collaborative law stays in collaborative law and your personal life stays private.

Q: How can collaborative law benefit my children?

A: With child custody or divorce many times parents try to work out their issues by screaming or yelling. This can have a serious adverse effect on all children involved. With collaborative law, parents can effectively communicate their goals, desires and feelings without screaming and/or violence. This will create a happier home and a better environment for all involved children.

Collaborative law provides the special opportunity to have a child specialist aid you in your divorce, separation, or custody agreements. This trained mental health professional will act as the voice for your children and ensure that your child’s best interests are protected no matter what during the collaborative law process.

Q: When would one need to use collaborative law instead of litigation?

A: Collaborative law requires cooperation and agreement between two parties. It also requires the parties to work together to achieve a common goal which may require compromise. If you and the other party cannot agree on the choice to pursue collaborative law, or if you cannot agree on most fundamental issues collaborative law may not be for you.

The good thing about collaborative law is if you do not resolve your disputes through collaborative law both parties are free to pursue litigation.

Q: How do I prepare for collaborative law?

A: Preparing for collaborative law is the best way to ensure a positive outcome. It also helps both parties take advantage of the collaborative law process and get the most out of it. There are several steps in preparing for collaborative law.

Both parties must understand that it may take several sessions with the opposing party to come to an agreement. If this is not something that you are prepared or willing to do then litigation might be a better option as the interaction between you and the other partner is limited.

It is important to understand how the collaborative law process works so that you are aware of exactly what you are getting yourself into and there are no surprises. For more information on the collaborative law process, please see “What does the collaborative law process look like?”

Both parties must hire individual lawyers prior to the start of the collaborative law process.

Both parties should also sit down and discuss what other outside professionals, if any, they want to include in the collaborative law sessions.

Plan to make other arrangements for applicable children as they should not be present during the collaborative law session.

Q: Can anything I say in collaborative law be used against me if our dispute goes to litigation?

A: No, everything in Collaborative Law is held to a strict confidentiality code. Whatever is said in a collaborative law session, stays there.

Q: How does our agreement become a legal document?

A: Upon reaching an agreement, one lawyer will draft up a written copy of this agreement. This agreement will then be approved by both clients and both of their lawyers. The lawyers will then submit the document to the courts for approval.