Collaborative Divorce

In a collaborative divorce, the parties commit to settle their case. To show that commitment, they sign a contract called a Participation Agreement that signifies the commencement of a collaborative divorce.  As the case progresses and issues arise, other professionals such as custody and financial experts, are brought in to help resolve the case issue-by-issue.  Two of our attorneys, Jeralyn Lawrence and Rita Aquilio are members of the New Jersey Council of Collaborative Practice Groups. The collaborative approach mitigates fighting and the strain of litigation, while promoting respect and keeps the spouses in control of the divorce process.

Frequently Asked New Jersey Collaborative Divorce Questions

What is a collaborative divorce?

A collaborative divorce is an approach to divorce by using a “team” approach to identify and address the issues to be resolved. The “team” consists of the parties, their collaboratively trained attorneys and other professionals or experts.

How does the collaborative divorce process work?

The parties and their attorneys sign a Participation Agreement, which is a contract and states that they will use their best efforts to resolve the matter without court intervention. The attorneys will represent the parties during the collaborative process, during negotiations, in order to reach a settlement. The attorneys agree to withdraw from the case if either spouse decides to file any pleadings other than those needed to obtain an uncontested divorce.

What are benefits of collaborative divorce?

The benefits for the parties to a collaborative divorce include being cost-effective, open and transparent exchange of financial documents, and having a team approach, rather than a one-sided, emotionally draining dynamic. It is also confidential and not open to the public so the parties can protect and ensure their privacy. The meetings also occur at an attorney’s office instead of at the courthouse and occur at a time convenient to all individuals.

Does an attorney need special training to handle a collaborative divorce?

An attorney must complete sixteen (16) hours of collaborative training, have mediation training (which is forty hours), as well as an annual refresher requirement of four hours.

Besides lawyers, are other professionals part of the collaborative divorce process?

Yes, while each collaborative divorce is different, teams can be comprised of a financial professional, a divorce coach, and/or a child specialist. Other professionals may include appraisers, mortgage brokers or other vocational experts.

Does a Collaborative Divorce cost less than a traditional divorce or mediation?

Collaborative divorce generally costs less than litigation. Litigation is an adversarial process that requires extensive time and resources, both of the parties and the attorneys representing them. In contract, the collaborative process is one which is confidential and promotes the parties working together in hopes of efficiently and expeditiously resolving all issues amicably between them.

How is Collaborative Divorce Process better for our children?

By its very nature, collaborative divorce is a less adversarial process which promotes the parties’ working together. This not only transcends the parties resolving issues relative to the divorce proceedings but encourages that they work together to promote the best interests of the minor children involved. The entire philosophy of the collaborative approach is to keep the children at the forefront of the divorce but not in the middle.

News
Jeralyn Lawrence Quoted on NJ.com About COVID-19

On March 28, 2020, Jeralyn Lawrence was quoted on NJ.com in an article What divorced people need to know about the coronavirus stimulus package. Lawrence, of Lawrence Law, comments on financial issues related to parties who are already divorced and those who are currently in the process of divorcing. She also comments on custody and…

Read More
Blog
Family Law Carries on During the Coronavirus Crisis

I have been getting many questions from clients and prospective clients about what is going on during these times. Without question, family law carries on during the coronavirus crisis. When Lawrence Law opened its doors, we made sure to have the best technology available so we can always serve our clients. Lessons were learned from…

Read More
Blog
COVID-19 Pandemic has an Impact on Family Law

I am receiving an increasing number of calls from concerned clients about the impact of COVID-19 on their family law matters. Concern #1 is their parenting time. We are near a time when self-quarantining is a reality. This is an incredibly important measure to keep our families healthy and safe. Emerging are instances where one…

Read More
News
Jeralyn Lawrence Recognized in New Jersey Super Lawyers in Several Categories

Jeralyn Lawrence, founder and Managing Partner of Lawrence Law, has been selected as a 2020 New Jersey Super Lawyer in the Family Law section. She has been included in New Jersey Super Lawyers since 2007. Lawrence was also named to Top 100: 2020 New Jersey Super Lawyers List and the Top 50: 2020 Women New…

Read More
News
Jeralyn Lawrence to speak at the 2020 Family Law Retreat

On Saturday, March 28, 2020, Jeralyn Lawrence will participate in a presentation Whiskey, Kentucky Bourbon, and New Jersey Marriages in Nashville, Tennessee. This presentation is part of the New Jersey State Bar Association 2020 Family Law Retreat. Lawrence, Founder and Managing Member of Lawrence Law, will discuss the equitable distribution of intellectual property in a…

Read More
Call Now ButtonCall Us