Collaborative Divorce, Collaborative Law, Collaborative Family Law
“Sometimes, strength is not measured by one’s dedication to fight but by one’s discipline not to.”
Collaborative practice (also known as collaborative divorce, collaborative family law or collaborative law) is an alternative means of resolving a divorce outside of the court system.
Developed in 1990, collaborative divorce is a form of alternative dispute resolution that has been used with great success around the country, including here in New Hampshire. Different from divorce mediation, collaborative divorce can also help parties resolve legal disputes through agreement in a structured setting. Collaborative law negotiations often focus on cooperation and settlement with an eye on long-term relationships, which can be a wise approach for parents facing divorce.
Instead of an adversarial court process, collaborative practice uses a client-driven team approach that is attorney-managed. Collaborative divorce calls for the two parties and their collaboratively trained attorneys to come together as a team and commit to resolving the dispute outside of court. The parties negotiate their own agreement with the help of their consulting attorneys and, when needed, other professionals and counselors.
Although collaborative law originated in family disputes because of its benefit to parties who will have on-going relationships as co-parents, it is fast being used with success in all types of legal disputes. Through the collaborative process, clients can avoid the many downsides of court battles such as high legal fees, lengthy delays, public airing of personal information, and extensive damage to the relationships between the parties.
Attorney Kimberly Weibrecht is a member of the Board for the Collaborative Law Alliance of New Hampshire and serves on the NH Bar Association’s Dispute Resolution Section. She is trained in a variety of alternative dispute resolution methods including advanced training in collaborative divorce law as well as Mediation for Lawyers at the Harvard School of Law Program on Negotiation.