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Collaborative Law recognizes that emotional issues exist, which cannot be addressed by the legal system. The collaborative divorce agenda formally incorporates an interdisciplinary approach with the goal of improving the divorce process for families and reducing the accompanying emotional harm.

I often am asked questions about the pros and cons of a collaborative divorce. I will address all those issues in a subsequent article. For the moment, it is important to note there are three elements that are required absolutely for the collaborative law process.

FIRST: Each spouse must be represented by his or her own attorney. This is not optional. Hiring an attorney is mandatory for the process.

SECOND: Both attorneys must agree that they will withdraw from the case if either spouse decides to have the court intervene.

  • The basis for this rule is to prevent lawyers from gathering information which they can later use in a court proceeding against the other spouse.

  • An additional benefit is that all parties are involved totally and invested in reaching an agreement. The parties will work hard to reach an agreement and attempt to avoid retaining a new attorney for court proceedings.

  • The lawyers, as well, recognize that if no agreement is reached then they are no longer involved with the process and the client.

THIRD: The spouses must sign a collaborative participation agreement. This agreement reviews in detail the structure and the guidelines of the approach. The process cannot begin until the document is signed.

For additional information on Collaborative Law, contact Mr. Trotti at 516.437.4385 x140 or jtrotti@vmmlegal.com.