Collaborative Law: Wave of the Future?
In a collaborate law agreement the lawyers agree to serve as settlement counsel only. They are actually contractually barred from ever going to court in that particular divorce case. The spouses, of course, are not precluded from accessing the court. However, if settlement talks break down, they must virtually start from square one with new counsel. This can be a powerful incentive to work things out.
With this approach, one can quickly get through a case with children and substantial assets and achieve a settlement typically in a shorter time and with fewer problems than one would see in the standard contested divorce.
The collaborate law model has been available in the legal profession for only a short period of time, however, it has caught on in many jurisdictions throughout the County. Unfortunately, comparatively few family law attorneys have been trained in the process and have developed a new set of skills necessary to manage these cases effectively. The lawyers who do accept these cases tend to prefer the collaborative law model over all other practice and settlement modalities. Hence, the field is growing very rapidly.
Collaborative law groups have been formed throughout the country with many of them in Florida. Recently the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers established its own group. The Family Law Section of the Florida Bar also has a collaborative law committee.
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