Divorce, by its nature, involves conflict, but it does not have to involve hostility and litigation. A contentious divorce takes a toll that affects the entire family and creates lasting negative consequences. Fortunately, there are other options available for resolving issues in divorce and other family law disputes. One option is the Collaborative process or Collaborative divorce.
Collaborative divorce is a client-centered form of dispute resolution that emphasizes identifying the interests of everyone involved, including the children, and meeting the needs of all parties as fully as possible. Instead of resolving issues from opposite sides of a courtroom, parties meet together with their attorneys and other divorce professionals, with a focus on reaching a mutually acceptable resolution.
The Collaborative process is a team-based approach. The team supports, educates and guides each party to reach resolutions that are balanced, respectful and lasting.
The Collaborative process follows a defined set of principles. All parties commit to communicating openly, honestly, and respectfully. All parties commit to negotiating in good faith by remaining open and flexible. The parties agree to reach a resolution without court intervention and to not threaten litigation. The parties agree that all communications during the Collaborative process and all documents prepared in connection with the Collaborative process will not be used in any future court proceedings. These commitments shelter the parties from courtroom stresses, reduce conflict, and make it easier to work together to identify mutually acceptable and lasting solutions.
Because parties in a Collaborative process voluntarily disclose financial and other information needed to resolve the case, much of the expense of the litigation process can be avoided. This means that, even with the support of financial professionals, attorneys, and others, a Collaborative divorce can be less costly than litigation.
Collaborative process also allows you to reach creative resolutions to issues in your divorce in a way that a court might be unable to. You have the flexibility to do what is right for your family, and because you are deeply involved in the process, rather than passively accepting what a judge orders, you are more likely to find a mutually acceptable and lasting resolution.
Only attorneys who have undergone special training may hold themselves out as Collaborative divorce attorneys. We have not only participated in the necessary training, but are actively involved in the local community of Collaborative professionals; Anne Marie Jackson was a founding member and founding board member of the D.C. Association of Collaborative Professionals ("DCACP") and Rebecca Shankman is a past president and current board member of the DCACP. We are dedicated to helping you unwind your marriage in a way that minimizes your stress in the present, and helps you to create a better future for yourself and for your family.
Located in Bethesda, Maryland, Feldman Jackson serves clients in the District of Columbia, Montgomery County, and throughout Maryland. We invite you to learn more about our firm, our team, our practice, and to contact us to schedule a consultation.