A highly regarded Collaborative Divorce lawyer in California, Pauline Tesler, has written the authoritative book on Collaborative Divorce: Collaborative Law, Achieving Effective Resolution in Divorce Without Litigation. The third edition of that book was published in 2016, and it includes a “Collaborative Divorce Handbook.” This handbook is a must read for anyone considering a collaborative divorce. The information is relevant to a New York divorce, although Ms. Tesler practices in California.
The following is the first blog post in a series about the Collaborative Divorce Handbook.
For those considering either a collaborative divorce or a traditional adversarial divorce, Ms. Tesler points out eight advantages of Collaborative Law.
1. In Collaborative Law, all participate in an open, honest exchange of information. There is no “hide the ball.”
2. In Collaborative Law, neither party takes advantage of the miscalculations or mistakes of others, but instead identifies and corrects them.
3. In Collaborative Law, both parties insulate their children from the conflicts. They avoid the professional custody evaluation process, instead making use of specially trained coaches and a child-development specialist to arrive at solutions that both parties can accept, solutions that reflect the children’s needs and concerns.
4. Both parties in Collaborative Law use joint accountants, appraisers and other advisors, instead of adversarial experts.
5. In Collaborative Law, a respectful, creative effort to meet the legitimate needs and concerns of both spouses replaces tactical bargaining backed by threats of litigation. The focus is on constructive planning for the future rather than redress for past grievances.
6. In Collaborative Law, agreements can address any matters of importance to the parties, regardless of whether a judge has the power to issue orders on the subject.
7. In Collaborative Law, the lawyers must guide the process to settlement or withdraw from further participation, unlike adversarial lawyers and traditional consulting lawyers in a mediation, who remain involved whether the couple settles all issues or goes to trial. As a result, collaborative lawyers cannot benefit in any way if the case ends up going to trial; their only agenda item is a fair and reasonable settlement.
8. In Collaborative Law, there is parity of payment to each lawyer so that neither spouse’s access to legal advice and counsel is disadvantaged compared to the other by lack of funds, a frequent problem in adversarial litigation.
To preview Collaborative Law, Achieving Effective Resolution in Divorce Without Litigation, which contains the “Collaborative Divorce Handbook,” click here.