Mindful, Thoughtful, Calm, Slow, Focused, Informed
Collaborative divorce is a process that allows parties to come together with a mental health professional, a financial professional, and attorneys to come to the best settlement options for themselves and their children.
Collaborative law is a voluntary process. All parties must agree to participate. This is different from court because they do not "drag" someone into court or they are not being "dragged" into court. Both parties want to work together for the best results.
Collaborative divorce requires a written participation agreement, agreed to and signed by both parties. Other states have statutes about collaborative divorce. Louisiana does not. Louisiana of course has contract law. We build in these already developed statutes and explain how they work and they become the law between the parties.
Collaborative divorce requires each party to have their own lawyer. The lawyer provides education, advice and advocacy.
Upon termination of the process, collaborative law requires both lawyers and their law firms to be disqualified from ever representing the parties in an adversarial proceeding in any matter related to the collaborative matter. The exception is to obtain certain emergency orders to protect the health, safety, welfare or interest of a party or his or her family.
Collaborative law requires both parties to give informed consent before participation in the process can begin.
Collaborative divorce requires both parties to give timely, full, candid and informal disclosure of information. This is in contrast to getting discovery in litigation. When a party does not disclose in litigation, a motion for contempt and to compel will be filed. Collaborative participants must both agree to share their financial documents and other documents as needed.
Collaborative law requires the parties and professionals to correct known mistakes. This is also required by Louisiana law in any kind of court process.
Collaborative law requires the lawyers to make a reasonable inquiry regarding whether there has been family violence in their parties' relationship. When present, the collaborative process may begin or continue only if requested by the client. Additionally, the lawyer and client will determine what, if any, reasonable steps could be taken to address safety concerns.
AGREE TO RESOLVE
Collaborative divorce requires both parties to agree to the terms of an agreement for resolution. If there is no mutual agreement, the process will terminate.
The collaborative family process provides that communication during the collaborative process are privileged. Disclosure cannot be compelled. However, if there is child abuse, fraud, etc. mandatory reporting will occur.