Colorado Collaborative Divorce Attorneys
Offering Cooperative Solutions to Divorce Throughout Colorado
Collaborative divorce is a type of divorce where both parties commit to a mutually-beneficial solution, without the option of pursuing any other action. It is a kind of mediation, except it involves both parties’ lawyers rather than a neutral third party. Collaborative divorce begins with a contract stipulating that neither side’s lawyers will pursue litigation or trial action if an agreement is never reached.
The Harris Law Firm is wholeheartedly committed to peaceful, cooperative solutions whenever possible—that’s why much of our team is made of highly-skilled negotiators and certified mediators. We believe in the personal, financial, and legal advantages of a negotiation. Strong divorce agreements are the result of both parties committing to the solution, and we are committed to finding such a solution.
What are the Benefits of Collaborative Divorce?
In this type of agreement, both sides agree that the only solution they are willing to commit to is one that each willingly accepts. The end goal of this process is negotiation and settlement, not a trial. The Harris Law Firm is dedicated to these kinds of solutions.
- You Have More Control: When couples choose collaborative divorce, they have more control over the case. With the help of mediators, they come up with their own terms and decide what works best for them.
- Emotional Advantage: Collaborative divorce can minimize emotional trauma to spouses and their children, and it empowers both sides of the family to reach an agreement that keeps them operating as a family unit. The exhaustion, tension, and hostility that divorces are stereotypically known for causing can be minimized, or even eliminated, in a collaborative divorce.
- Cost-Effective: Collaboration usually requires less time from the attorneys than litigation would because spouses come to settlements outside of the courtroom, it costs less. With litigation, you would have to pay for discovery, trial preparation the trial. Often trial cases can cost individuals over $30,000.
- Privacy: With collaborative divorce, couples have more privacy. Because they are in control of the decisions and outcomes, their personal information is kept private. With litigation, a judge presides over your case, making the choices on your behalf and your information gets placed in public records.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of a collaborative divorce is it sets the tone for continuing family interaction. If parents can reach a collaborative agreement at the end of their marriage, it sets a strong precedent for future collaboration as they jointly raise their children. Communication, even in truly difficult situations, can still remain positive and creative, not critical or adversarial.
How does the Collaborative Divorce Process Work?
To begin the collaborative divorce process, the spouses and their attorneys sign a “Participation Agreement” that requires the husband and wife to:
- Disclose all financial information: Both parties will exchange all relevant documents regarding their finances.
- Maintain confidentiality: The proceedings will remain private so that both parties can freely express their feelings.
- Respect the parties involved: Both parties agree to behave in a respectful manner during the process.
- Protect the children: All parties agree to safeguard the children from the divorce proceedings
- Share outside professionals: The parties agree to implement and share the costs of outside specialists to consult on issues that include: finances, property, parenting, etc.
- Create a written agreement: The spouses agree to create a written agreement on all issues pertaining to the family law matter.
- Obtain a divorce decree: Both parties will authorize their lawyers to use the written agreement to obtain a final court decree.
Beneficial for High Net-Worth Divorces
Collaborative law is also suitable for high profile divorcing couples who not only require experienced legal counsel and skilled advocacy, but who may also benefit by using a private and confidential approach. Using collaborative law, the parties never have to appear in court and their privacy is protected.
The Harris Law Firm has handled many high profile divorces in Colorado through mediation, collaborative law, and litigation.
Contact us today to fully understand the options available to you!
What if Both Parties Can't Agree on a Collaborative Divorce?
If the parties cannot resolve all of the issues in the divorce with the assistance of their collaborative lawyers, the parties may look into other methods of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) prior to engaging in litigation.
If the parties cannot resolve the issues through ADR, the collaborative lawyers would withdraw and the parties would proceed to obtain attorneys to proceed to prepare the matter for trial.
Potential Drawbacks of Collaborative Divorce
Essentially, if the process fails, the parties are forced to change lawyers. This creates the potential for the tremendous expense and emotional turmoil of switching attorneys right in the middle of a divorce.
Moreover, emergency or immediate relief through the court system is not a viable option in the collaborative process, so the parties must be confident that they will be able to work through all of the issues in their case. Assistance from the courts for any reason will not be available, so the parties must be able to resolve all issues quickly, such as child custody, parenting time, and financial support.
While collaborative has many attractive qualities, it is very important that both parties realize the built-in limitations of this approach. The Harris Law Firm can help you determine the best course of action for your unique divorce situation.
How Can Our Divorce Lawyers Help?
With over 200 years of collective experience in trial law and negotiations, our Colorado collaborative divorce attorneys have the insight and skill to craft truly creative, beneficial results for you and your family. Our aim is to ensure that you receive what you need in an agreement without adding undue stress or pain to the process.
The Harris Law Firm supports the legal, local and international community. Through deliberate strategic giving efforts, we work together to bring strength, happiness and empowerment to Colorado and beyond. WE CARE about our role in the world around us.
We celebrate the many individual strengths that make up The Harris Law Firm team. We encourage growth while also promoting a collaborative working environment. WE CARE about our team and strive to ensure an environment of collegiality, appreciation and consistent professional development.
You come to us for guidance, support and assistance at a trying time. We take this responsibility very seriously. You deserve a high level of service and excellent legal representation. WE CARE about your challenges, solutions and process for resolution.
I AM THRILLED and relieved and so ready to move forward. Thank you, everyone, for your hard work on behalf of my sweet daughter. God bless you!!- Jeni
Sangeetha, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you did to help me get this settlement. Thank you for trying to keep the hours down on this case. You are truly more than an attorney. In this case somewhat of a super hero. Thanks again.- Mark
Thank you both for everything you have done to help me have my daughter in my life. My family and I deeply appreciate it.- Paul
We had a successful conclusion to all of our work this morning. The court commented on the fine work that had been done using a combination of the collaborative process and our independent efforts. I would like to thank the team for your patience with us through what has been a very difficult process for us both.- Mark
I am grateful that you represented me because you are smart, talented, generous and kind, and I want to thank you for being you!- Rachel
I am so grateful for your professionalism- Linda
You have helped my family so much....there are no words.- M.P.
First... let me say how MUCH I love and appreciate Peggy!- Andrea