Collaborative law is a method of resolving divorce and family law issues (property division, alimony, child custody, and child support) in a non-adversarial, or at least a less adversarial, environment.
Authorized by North Carolina General Statute § 50-70, the goal of the collaborative law process is to negotiate a settlement on all divorce and family law issues without litigation or even the threat of litigation. This non-adversarial approach to divorce can decrease the stress that the divorcing spouses and their children experience in less amicable divorce settings.
Because the collaborative law process can be such an effective means of settling divorce-related issues while minimizing the emotional impact on our clients and families, our law office welcomes the opportunity to serve our clients in this capacity whenever possible. Non-adversarial environments facilitate clear, rational thinking to move families forward.
Basics of Collaborative Law:
A collaborative law agreement must be in writing and signed by all the parties to the agreement, as well as their respective attorneys, and must include provisions for the withdrawal of all attorneys involved in the collaborative law procedure if the collaborative law procedure does not result in a settlement of the divorce-related issues.
Principles of Collaborative Law:
- Issues are resolved without court intervention.
- The parties voluntarily share all information.
- Consultants are retained jointly to provide unbiased opinions.
- All attorneys, therapists, accountants, appraisers, and consultants cooperate while assisting the parties in the resolution of the family’s issues.
- When disputes involve children, the parties, their attorneys, and therapists commit to reaching amicable solutions that promote the children’s best interests.
- The parties agree that legal representation is limited to the collaborative law process and that neither of their respective attorneys may represent them in any court proceeding against the other party.
Potential Cost Saving Benefits of Collaborative Law:
The collaborative approach to divorce has the potential to save the parties substantial legal fees. This process eliminates the time that attorneys typically spend drafting pleadings, making motions, attending depositions and court hearings—thus causing considerably fewer billable hours. With collaborative law, attorneys spend their time on a less expensive settlement process.
Risks Associated with Collaborative Law
What if the collaborative law process breaks down? One risk associated with collaborative law is that the parties may reach an impasse. If one party decides that the collaborative process is not working in his or her best interests, he or she may choose to end the process altogether. If the collaborative law process breaks down, both collaborative attorneys must withdraw from representation. The parties must then retain altogether new and separate counsel. In this scenario, the collaborative process could end up being more expensive than the traditional divorce process, since the parties must ultimately, in effect, pay to try both strategies.
Meet your Attorney
James Tyler brooks
“My law practice is limited to divorce and family law in Wake County, North Carolina. By limiting my practice to divorce and family law, I’ve been able to obtain a deep level of knowledge within those areas. Because I’ve limited my practice to Wake County, I’ve gotten to know our family court judges and how they tend to rule on certain divorce and family law issues. Knowing their tendencies allows me to better inform my clients, which helps them make good decisions throughout the process.
I am passionate about helping my clients during this tough time. Family law issues can be expensive, both financially and emotionally. During those tough times, you need excellent legal counsel more than ever.“
– James Brooks