Settlement facilitation & collaborative divorce

“A creative, counseling, problem-solving approach to resolving issues and conflicts during divorce inevitably helps clients achieve broader life-long success than does a momentarily favorable decision by a court.”

Many clients come in believing their divorce is particularly mean-spirited and there is no way to go except aggressive attacks and counter attacks ending in court.

My experience proves otherwise in a surprisingly high percentage of cases. Even when emotions run high, an experienced family law negotiator can often help you avoid a nasty divorce.

My firm belief is that effective advocacy means serving the client‘s best interests, and that means addressing their deeper, longer term concerns: the well-being of children, family peace, and economic stability. This is more usually accomplished in Negotiated Settlements or during a Collaborative Divorce process.

Settlement Facilitation is the term used to describe an out of court settlement reached via assisted negotiation. Collaborative Divorce is a specific form of settlement facilitation. Settlement facilitation is an inclusive term and can take the following, specific forms, or can blend some aspects of one form with another :

  • Mediation – in which a single mediator helps the couple to reach a mutually agreeable settlement. Mediation works well when both parties share equal footing in terms of fiscal knowledge and psychological or emotional dominance.
  • Lawyer-Negotiated Settlement Facilitation – both parties have separate attorneys who negotiate on behalf of their clients. Clients are typically ‘once-removed’ from the process and have little face-to-face interaction.
    In both Mediation and Lawyer-Negotiated Settlement Facilitation a breakdown in the negotiations can lead to litigation.

  • Collaborative Divorce – in a Collaborative Divorce, each client is represented by their own lawyer but the clients remain integral to the process, which may be further assisted by financial, social or psychological professionals. Collaborative Divorce will not end up in court: all professional participants are legally bound to recuse themselves if a Negotiated Settlement cannot be reached.