Collaborative divorce law is a relatively new, multi-disciplinary approach designed to minimize conflict while enabling divorcing couples to find a way to resolve their differences on all relevant issues. The process places a deep emphasis on negotiation and working together.
You may be worried that you and your spouse will be unable to reach an agreement. Collaborative attorneys have been trained to effectively work with couples that have considerable conflict. You will not be alone. Your attorney will be there with you to ensure your needs are addressed, and to facilitate negotiations with your spouse.
First, you and your spouse will meet with your respective collaborative attorneys to discuss your individual needs and concerns. Then, everyone agrees that they will all work toward an effective solution for both spouses. You, your spouse, and both attorneys then meet in four-way sessions to reach a settlement without involving the court. Every issue, including property division, custody, and support, will be put “on the table” in these sessions.
At the beginning of the process, you, your spouse, and both attorneys will sign a Participation Agreement. The agreement requires both parties to:
In addition, instead of using only attorneys for this process, you will have access to a team of professionals, each specializing in a different field of expertise. As needed, your Collaborative Team may include mental health professionals to coach you and your spouse, a child specialist to give your children a voice in the process, and a financial specialist (such as a qualified financial specialist or certified divorce financial analyst) to help both you and your spouse analyze the impact of your financial decisions.
This Collaborative Team approach is successful, because it uniquely lays a solid foundation for a future parenting partnership between you and your spouse, and between both parents and the children. It creates an atmosphere of hope for your whole family: that your future together will be trouble-free and secure, even if the family has been restructured into two homes.
All the professionals involved – the attorneys, the mental health professionals, and the financial specialists - have special training to help contain the cost of the divorce process, by using limited family funds in the most effective way possible. You can use the financial specialist as a neutral to work on budgeting and property distribution, and a child specialist as a neutral to work on parenting issues. The attorneys are always available for consultation as problem areas are addressed.
During this process, you will benefit from the skills, advice, and support of attorneys and other helping professionals while striving to work things out in a positive, future-focused manner. Working together enables you to dissolve the marriage in a way that addresses everyone’s legal, financial, and emotional needs within the resources of the family. When a settlement is reached, the collaborative attorneys will file the appropriate paperwork required by the court to complete your divorce.
Please also review the Advantages and Disadvantages of Collaborative Divorce.
To find out more about Michigan collaborative divorce law and your options, please contact Bloomfield Hills family law attorney Lori D. Becker today.
Lori D. Becker named one of the top Up & Coming lawyers in Michigan by Michigan Lawyers Weekly Newspaper
Lori D. Becker appears on Shelby Twp. Television to discuss Collaborative Divorce
Lori D. Becker's Open House is featured on the front page of the July 2nd edition of the Oakland County Legal News
Lori D. Becker is highlighted in the June edition of the Collaborative Chronicles
Lori D. Becker is the first person from Michigan ever elected to the Board of Directors of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals
Lori D. Becker:
Elected Board Member of Women Lawyer Association of Michigan Foundation
Elected Board Member Collaborative Practice Institute of Michigan
Elected Board Member of MacOakWay Collaborative Practice Group
Elected Committee Member of Public Education for International Academyof Collaborative Professionals
Lori worked to resolve our problems, not stir the pot.”
- Michael, father of two, Clinton Township