Collaborative Law divorce is another may be a less stressful and more cost-effective way to resolve any disputes that may arise. In a collaborative Divorce, A “Participation Agreement” is signed by both parties and each of their attorneys at the beginning of the case. This states that the parties agree to try to negotiate any and all issues that may arise out of court and in good faith, they also agree to voluntarily exchange information without proper discovery.
It is important to remember that the Participation Agreement states that if all issues cannot be resolved out of court, both attorneys for both parties must withdraw themselves from the case. In the event that the case goes to litigation both parties must retain new attorneys for the litigation. This clause is put in place to make both parties and their attorneys less likely threaten litigation as a negotiating tool. This encourages all parties involved to find different methods of resolving difficult issues without the help of the court.
Once the Participation Agreement has been signed by all parties involved, everyone involved must participate in four-way meetings in hope to negotiate all issues at hand including but not limited to, marital settlements, joint parenting agreements and child support. Generally, there is no mediator in a Collaborative Divorce, one may be hired by the parties if negotiations without mediation are not successful.
At the time of agreement, attorneys will then file it with the circuit court along with a petition for dissolution of marriage. Lastly, the court will approve and enter the agreement along with the order of dissolution in an expedited proceeding.