The choices a divorcing couple makes at the beginning of their negotiations may well determine the way their divorce turns out, the kind of relationship they have in the future, and how their children adjust. The fact that they are angry, sad, distrustful or anxious does not mean that most are not capable of making good choices in how they manage their divorce.

In the traditional adversarial system, from the very outset the parties are labeled and set off against one another as "opposing parties." The concept of having parties "opposed" to one another may unduly aggravate the divorce-related issues and the inherent conflict. In attempting to resolve the issues between them in this oppositional framework, they may surrender their ability to control the situation and the process and ask the Court to ultimately determine the outcome.

The heart of Collaborative Law is the belief, shared by the parties and their attorneys, that it is in their best interest and in the best interests of the family to resolve differences with minimal conflict and without going to court.

THE GOALS OF COLLABORATIVE LAW ARE:

  • To help parties communicate calmly with each other and express needs, interests and emotions appropriately.
  • To ask questions, help the parties hear each other and offer creative and workable alternatives.
  • To provide a safe place and organized framework for the parties to discuss each issue and reach agreement.
  • To prepare and file all written paperwork for the court
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Finger Lakes Collaborative Law Association