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A lawyer is essential when negotiating through collaborative law

Not every California divorce is contentious with the couple battling over every single issue large, medium and small. Since going to court can only exacerbate problems and add to the emotional stress, it can be useful to talk about factors that might be negotiable. In addition, going to court can be a costly and time-consuming endeavor. If the situation is such that the participants can discuss their differences and negotiate, using alternative measures through collaborative law can be beneficial.

While it is vital to have legal help when going through a divorce, it is also imperative when using family law mediation. Even when there is a platform to discuss issues openly without anger or negativity, it is still vital to have a lawyer who can be a both a representative for one of the participants or a neutral mediator to help the parties meet in the middle, agree and move forward.

Collaborative divorce is comparable to mediation. The parties will meet, have their collaborative attorneys to advise them, and try to resolve the issues that are causing problems. The attorneys will be invested in the collaborative negotiation. What can be very important is that the discussions that happen while collaborative negotiations are taking place is that the issues that are broached are not legally allowed to be used in court if the case needs to go to litigation. This makes it a safe environment to be honest and negotiate.

A key factor with collaborative law is that the attorneys who represent the parties cannot provide representation if the case does go to litigation. That shields them from being a part of anything in the case if the negotiation fails. Many different issues from finances to custody and support can be settled with expert help if the parties are amenable. This can save money, avoid the possibility of a court battle and keep the parties on decent and even good terms. Having assistance from an attorney who is experienced in collaborative law as part of divorce alternative dispute resolution is crucial.

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John T. Chamberlin, Attorney at Law
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