Increasingly, couples are seeking more constructive and less expensive alternatives to litigating their divorce, child custody and support issues in court. One alternative is collaborative divorce (also known as collaborative law, collaborative practice and collaborative family law). In a collaborative divorce, lawyers, mental health professionals and financial specialists work together with the divorcing couple to resolve all issues by agreement without going to court. Although the team approach sounds expensive, substantial money is saved in a collaborative divorce because the couple together hires one mental health and financial professional rather than each spouse hiring experts as in a traditional litigated divorce. The future growth and development of collaborative law has significant benefits for divorcing couples and the legal profession.
Collaborative divorce is based on three principles:
- A pledge not to go to court.
- An honest exchange of information between both spouses.
- A solution that takes into account the highest priorities of spouses and children.
The New Jersey Collaborative Law Group (NJCLG) is an educational, not for profit, association of collaborative professionals established in June 2008. We are an inter-disciplinary network of attorneys, mental health professionals, financial consultants and others committed to helping couples and families resolve conflicts in a positive and respectful manner. Our commitment is to a client-centered process that focuses on the legal, emotional, and financial elements of divorce and, no matter how complex the issues and emotions, seeks an optimal resolution by allowing couples to negotiate in an environment free from the threat of litigation. The collaborative dispute resolution process is a voluntary, non-adversarial dispute resolution process for parties represented by counsel. Members of the NJCLG serve Essex, Union, Morris, Somerset, Hunterdon, Warren, Bergen, Passaic and Sussex counties.
Donald D. Vanarelli, Esq., owner of this weblog, is a co-founder of the NJCLG and presently serves as Chair of the Education Committee.
The NJCLG has published a new brochure that describes how the collaborative process can be successfully utilized by a couple to “divorce without going to war.” The new brochure is annexed here – njcollaborativelawgrpbrochure
A link to the NJCLG’s website can be found here – New Jersey Collaborative Law Group