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Collaborative Divorce Attorney Long Island, NY

Collaborative Divorce Attorney Long Island

As a divorce attorney practicing on Long Island, I advise all my clients that they have several alternative dispute resolution options, including Collaborative Divorce, available to them as they begin the process of their divorce. You, like most Long Island couples, may be are aware of divorce litigation and divorce mediation, but many are not aware that Collaborative Law is another effective option for divorce.

What is Collaborative Divorce on Long Island?

Collaborative divorce 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 divorce 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. Unlike in divorce 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 at the start 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

what is collaborative divorceYou may think that the presence of two lawyers both fighting for different clients will inevitably lead to court time, but before beginning the process each party involved will sign an agreement stating that no litigation will be commenced. If the collaborative divorce process is unsuccessful, the attorneys originally hired by you and your spouse will no longer represent you, and you will both hire new attorneys to move forward with litigating your divorce.

Qualified collaborative law attorneys have the training and skills necessary to reach a settlement for their clients. 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 a Nassau County or Suffolk County, NY courtroom. 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.

If you want to avoid a large amount of Nassau County or Suffolk County court intervention, but do not believe you and your spouse can come to an agreement on your own terms through mediation, collaborative divorce presents a good alternative for you. Collaborative divorce is a process by which you and your spouse can start the road to finalization of your Judgment of Divorce with little to no court intervention.

You may be wondering why you would opt for a collaborative divorce and have to hire two Nassau County or Suffolk County Divorce Attorneys when you could utilize alternative dispute resolution processes such as divorce mediation and only have to hire one. The answer is simple: if you and your spouse are not completely amicable or able to communicate in a productive manner, a divorce mediator cannot look out for your interests; he or she can only listen to what you and your spouse say and guide you. If you are each intractable on certain points, your divorce mediator cannot help you. In contrast, in a collaborative divorce, your attorney hired to assist you will be able to look out for your interests during settlement negotiations but you will still have control over the process by being directly involved.

You and your spouse may be good candidates to use a Collaborative Divorce attorney when you want to amicably separate or divorce and you can both agree to resolve your issues through mutual cooperation and negotiation rather than litigation.

Benefits of a Collaborative Divorce Lawyer:

  • Significantly Reduced Legal Fees
  • Never Having to Step Inside a Courtroom
  • Preserving Your Relationships for the Sake of your Children
  • Individualized and Skilled Legal Representation by an Attorney Well Versed in Family and Collaborative law

How Does a Collaborative Divorce Attorney Help?

Collaborative Divorce is an amicable resolution process through which you and your spouse separate or divorce without ever going to court. When you are both committed to resolving the complex issues involved through cooperation and negotiation, you can each be represented by an independent collaborative divorce attorney looking out for your best interests, but also committed to saving you the time, money and stress of going to court. You also have the opportunity to bring in other neutral collaborative divorce professionals such as financial analysts, mental health practitioners, divorce coaches, or child specialists, to aid in the process.

How is Collaborative Divorce Different from Mediation or Litigation?

A key feature distinguishing Collaborative Divorce (also known as collaborative law or cooperative law) from divorce mediation and other dispute resolution methods is individual legal representation for both you and your spouse. Throughout the collaborative divorce process, each of you will be represented by a collaborative divorce attorney. You and your collaborative lawyer will sign an agreement in which you all agree that you will:

  1. Work cooperatively toward settlement
  2. Share all information that is necessary to arrive at a fair settlement
  3. Retain neutral experts as necessary to reach a fair settlement
  4. Should a settlement not be reached, the attorneys will not be permitted to represent the parties in any subsequent court litigation. This encourages the parties to work toward common goals, and reduces the likelihood of threats or ultimatums compromising the process.

Why is Collaborative Divorce Successful on Long Island, NY?

How Collaborative Divorce is DifferentOn Long Island, NY, Collaborative Divorce is an increasingly popular method of getting a divorce — and for good reason. In a collaborative divorce, Divorcing couples are given an opportunity to utilize a team of professionals that may include lawyers, accountants, mediators and other specialists in order to work through all of the issues that must be resolved in order to get a finalized divorce. It allows spouses to resolve the conflicts or disputes concerning the divorce without incurring the time and expense of going to court.

Divorce is not just a legal process, but a financial and emotional one as well. Most divorces are emotionally charged, and sometimes hostile processes that touch upon issues concerning years of accumulated assets as well as the breaking up of a household and family ties can cause conflict. Divorces can be especially difficult where children are concerned.

Collaborative Divorce is a successful option for many families faced with the stress of a divorce because it enables you to participate in the process. Your collaborative divorce attorney at Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. will work with you and your spouse to focus on your family, relationships, and communication, rather than on money and visitation time (which is also referred to as co-parenting time). This enables you and your spouse the opportunity to keep your relationship from becoming adversarial, making your future communication more comfortable for you and your children.

Communication is Critical for Your Children

While co-parenting time and support are very important matters to be resolved, it is equally important for you and your spouse to be able to communicate in matters regarding your children following the divorce. While certainly different, legally and practically, you and your spouse will continue to have a relationship where it concerns your children. Maintaining that relationship through the divorce process is a key benefit and goal of your collaborative divorce lawyer.

Long Island Collaborative Divorce is Confidential

Collaborative Divorce allows you and your spouse to move on with your lives in a humane, confidential and dignified manner without dragging your issues, and especially your children, into a courtroom in Nassau County or Suffolk County.

Divorce is Often Called Family Restructuring

If you have children, your divorce or separation will affect them. You owe it to your children to seek a cost effective and less adversarial resolution to you case. The Long Island Collaborative Divorce attorneys at Robert E. Hornberger, P.C., Attorneys and Counselors at Law in Melville have helped many families in Nassau County and Suffolk County benefit through the collaborative divorce process. We will be happy to show you how we can help you.

Collaborative Divorce Law Attorneys Keep You Out of Court

The role of the attorneys in the collaborative divorce process is to provide advocacy for you while negotiating on your behalf and working toward settlement. Collaborative divorce lawyers work with you in a non-adversarial manner, communicating with the other professionals involved, including your spouse’s attorney. In most instances, the attorneys will lead the collaborative law meetings. Your lawyer will always attend team meetings with you, advocating for your best interests and providing you with all pertinent information and legal advice that will help you to make decisions.

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 Collaborative Divorce Attorney on Long Island?

The experienced and compassionate Long Island divorce attorneys at Hornberger Verbitsky, PC are also experienced collaborative divorce lawyers who have helped many Nassau County and Suffolk County couples save time, money and stress utilizing collaborative divorce. If you would like to learn more about collaborative divorce, we encourage you to call us at 631-923-1910 or fill in the short form on this page to schedule a free initial consultation. We’ll be happy to talk it over with you.

Bringing in Other Professionals to Help with Complex Issues

Collaborative divorce can bring together specialists that can help you to address all of the difficult aspects of divorce in an efficient and less stressful way than a conventionally litigated divorce. 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.

Child Specialists Minimize Child Trauma

The effect of divorce on children is something that all caring parents wish to minimize. A child specialist is a professional who can be brought in as part of the collaborative divorce team in order to address the needs of your children. This is a trained mental health professional that can meet with the child to assess his or her feelings and needs, and then advocate for their interests in an effective way. This provides an often much needed voice for the child involved in this difficult process. Child Specialists are trained in child psychology and development, and understand the children’s emotional needs during and after divorce.

Divorce Coaches Guide You Through Your Divorce

You may consider bringing in a mental health professional that is trained in collaborative divorce law. These are sometimes called divorce coaches. Divorce coaches use proven strategies to coach you through the divorce process. They can help you to manage your heightened emotions, focus on healthy objectives for the divorce, and communicate the values and goals that are most important to you. Your divorce coach can assist you with acknowledging and working through the family dynamics that might be difficult for you to resolve on your own, or that are hard for you to see clearly while you are under the stress of divorce.

Financial Specialists Protect Your Assets

Determining the financial implications of divorce can be a complex process. If necessary, the financial specialist is another neutral party in the process who can make an objective contribution to the discussion of finances in order to maximize available assets and help the spouses reach a common sense settlement of property.  In many collaborative divorces, financial specialists will do a comprehensive analysis of the finances involved in the divorce and make recommendations accordingly. A financial specialist uses his or her expertise to review the financial data and even investigate reported income and assets in order to determine the best course of action to reach settlement. This may involve taking an inventory of assets, debts, income and expenses. Valuation of businesses and other assets are also an important component of the role of this specialist. The financial specialist also considers the tax implications of division of assets and debts as well as child support and spousal support payments.

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Robert Hornberger and Christine Verbitsky

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Your attorney will describe the many options available and determine together which is the right solution for you. By the end of this  conversation, we’ll all understand how we can best help you to move forward.

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There is no cost or obligation for this initial consultation. It is simply an opportunity for us to get to know each other, answer your questions and learn if Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. is right the right law firm for you. Give us a call at 631-923-1910 or fill in the short form below for your free consultation and case evaluation.

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