COLLABORATIVE LAW

Massachusetts Collaborative Law Attorneys | Alternative Dispute Resolution | Divorce & Family Law

One of the ways in which Fields and Dennis, LLP handles the problems of its clients is through a process known as Collaborative Law. This is a new form of dispute resolution that is gaining a foothold in Massachusetts. Similar to the traditional dispute resolution option, the firm represents one party in a traditional attorney-client relationship and the other party is also represented by counsel. The parties and attorneys, however, each sign a binding not to go to court until a negotiated settlement is reached. The attorneys at Fields and Dennis, LLP are members of the Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council.

Divorce is seldom easy. Divorce requires us to make life-altering decisions at a time when we are most emotionally vulnerable. Often, the last thing we need is a “blood and guts” court battle over who gets the silverware. Collaborative law is designed specifically for couples who are looking for a calm, educational and professional alternative to divorce litigation.

Collaborative divorce gives the parties an opportunity to settle their divorce without the oversight of the court. Unlike litigation, collaborative divorce allows the parties to negotiate in a structured, but non-adversarial environment with skilled legal counsel actively assisting them. Similar to litigation, the parties involved in a collaborative divorce each hire their own attorney. However, the attorneys involved in collaborative divorce are specifically trained in collaborative law and have settlement – not trial – as their primary objective. Settlement remains the main objective because the lawyers’ continued employment depends upon his or her ability to facilitate an acceptable settlement proposal. Failure to reach settlement results in the end of the collaborative divorce process, and an end to the attorney’s employment in your case.

Collaborative divorce differs significantly from traditional, litigated divorce in other ways. One example is the use of expert witnesses. In a litigated divorce, the spouses each hire their own experts: psychologists, forensic accountants, business valuation experts and/or appraisers. The hiring of these experts, while valuable to each party’s case, results in significant expenditures of marital assets toward the resolution of the case. In a collaborative divorce the spouses agree, with advice of counsel, on which experts to hire in order to decide the disputed issues. More importantly, the costs of hiring these experts are shared by the parties rather than duplicated. This economy of scale reduces the overall costs of the divorce and leaves more money in the family’s pocketbook.

Collaborative divorce is most appropriate for those clients who wish to have an active role in negotiating their own settlement while receiving the advice of skilled legal professionals.

Contact the Massachusetts collaborative law divorce attorneys at Field and Dennis for a confidential consultation.

The Boston metro collaborative law attorneys and dispute resolution lawyers at the law firm of Fields and Dennis serve the Greater Boston region including Allston, Arlington, Boston, Brighton, Brookline, Chestnut Hill, Concord, Dedham, Dover, Lexington, Natick, Needham, Newton, Waltham, Watertown, Wayland, Wellesley, Weston, Westwood, and all Massachusetts.