FAQ : Collaboration
How is collaboration similar to and different than mediation?
In a Collaboration, both parties are represented by attorneys and obtain legal advice through their attorneys. In mediation the parties may or may not have legal representation. Although, the mediator may give an opinion when asked, the mediator cannot give legal advice in a mediation. Both process are voluntary. In collaboration the attorneys will not represent you in court. If you have an attorney during mediation he can represent you in court.
What happens if we can’t reach an agreement during collaboration?
If you are unable to reach an agreement in collaboration, you will have to retain another lawyer to adequately protect your interest. There is a good chance that one of the parties would file a complaint in court which would be the begging of litigation.
What is a four way meeting ?
your spouse, their attorney, you and your attorney will meet in one of the attorney’s conference rooms. They are usually scheduled for 2-3 hours at a time and can be either once per week or twice per month
What happens during the four way meeting ?
Introductions are made, ground rules are established, the process is explained, the participation agreement is signed, each party’s goals and interests are identified, information is exchanged, homework is assigned, agendas are set, proposals are presented, alternatives are considered, brainstorming, agreements are reached and documents are signed.
Am I allowed to bring someone to the four-way meeting?
This should be discussed with your attorney prior to your four way meeting. Most likley it will be discussed and agreed to at a four-way meeting in order to allow a third party to participate. An example may be inviting a finacial advisor or accountant to the process.
If I am not assertive, will collaboration work?
With proper preperation with your attorney before the four-way sessions, it is possible to be succesful in colaboration. During the four way meeting, you always have the opportuity to consult with your attorney privatly.
When is collaboration a bad idea?
If one of the layers is not specifically trained in collaboration, you should probably not agree to the process, you should probably not agree to that attorney.