As a divorce attorney practicing on Long Island, I advise all my clients that they have several options, including Collaborative Divorce, available to them as they begin the process. Most Long Island couples are aware of divorce litigation and divorce mediation, but many are not aware that Collaborative Law is another effective option for divorce.
Long Island Collaborative Divorce Law Preserves Communication
Collaborative law is a unique process by which spouses, represented by their attorneys, work together to reach a divorce settlement in a timely and efficient manner. A main goal of collaborative law is to come to a settlement that satisfies the needs of both the spouses as well as any children involved, while preserving family relationships and communication rather than obliterating them. The process empowers clients by having an attorney advocate for their interests and needs, but without the adversarial nature of litigation.
Stay Out of Suffolk County or Nassau County Court with Collaborative Divorce
Collaborative law allows spouses to resolve the conflicts or disputes that are hindering a divorce settlement without going to court. Unlike divorce mediation, in which parties meet with a neutral third party mediator, collaborative law allows each party to bring his or her own lawyer who will actively advise and negotiate in his client’s best interest. In this setting, the meetings are led by the attorneys. Also unlike mediation, clients are zealously represented by their individual attorneys in a collaborative setting throughout the course of several meetings. Each spouse and attorney agrees in writing that they will act in good faith to reach a mutually agreeable conclusion without the use of judicial intervention.
Collaborative Law Requires Specially Trained Divorce Attorneys
Qualified collaborative law attorneys have the training and skills necessary to reach settlement. Since each spouse’s attorney agrees in writing not to bring the matter to court, the attorneys are disqualified if settlement cannot be reached. This means that your collaborative law attorney cannot represent you in court. This certainly increases the incentive for collaborative law attorneys to find a way to settle, and ensures strong advocacy and smart negotiation. The agreement also addresses confidentiality, and says that collaborative law discussions or documents cannot later be used in court if for whatever reason the matter does not settle. This means that the matters discussed in the collaborative law setting will be kept private.
Other Support Professionals May Be Involved
Other professionals, such as financial or mental health professions and child specialists, may be involved in the process in certain cases. The involvement of these supportive professionals can assist in dealing with complex issues that are present in some divorces. For example, a neutral financial professional can help you and your spouse value your assets, compute spousal or child support, and determine equitable distribution issues.
By working together through Collaborative Divorce, tension and conflict can be filtered out and even removed, as parties feel that their goals are being met. Clients’ greatest concerns in divorce are normally children and finances. The process of collaborative law can help you to achieve the most fair and equitable results in these sensitive areas without the time, expense, and stress of a hostile divorce proceeding.
Check Your Collaborative Divorce Attorneys’ Training & Credentials
Since the collaborative law meetings are led by the attorneys, it is important to make sure that your attorney is an experienced collaborative law attorney who fully understands the process and what is essential to reaching a settlement. Not all attorneys are qualified in the area of collaborative law, and many are unfamiliar with the process. You are encouraged to ask your attorney about his experience with collaborative law and whether he can explain how the process will work in your specific case.
Need an Experienced Long Island Collaborative Divorce Attorney? Contact Robert E. Hornberger, Esq., P.C.
Collaborative Divorce on Long Island requires a commitment to honest communication and negotiation, as well as respect to the other party and professionals involved. This is the essence of collaborative law that has saved many couples from the debilitating stress and suffering that a divorce proceeding can bring. If you feel that the collaborative law process may be right for your divorce, contact the experienced collaborative law attorneys at the Office of Robert E. Hornberger, P.C., at 631-923-1910. We have a strong record of success and satisfied collaborative law divorce clients.
Download our Free New York Divorce Guide
Our 41-page “Guide to New York Divorce: What You Need to Know Before Hiring a Divorce Lawyer in New York” written by an experienced family law lawyer Long Island’s Robert E. Hornberger, Esq., provides you with real information on the divorce process and the laws it rests upon in the state of New York. This book will help give you a solid foundation upon which you can begin the process of making your family’s, life better. Download your Free Guide to New York Divorce here.