Collaborative Law is a new way of resolving disputes and represents a fundamental change in how families can resolve their differences. Not only does it significantly reduce cost and reduce stress, but its most important feature is that it truly works in the interest of children. Scientific research tells us that ongoing parental conflict is the single most likely factor to harm children of divorce. Collaborative law reduces conflict, increases cooperation, keeps parents in charge and allows decisions to be made without the children being drawn into the conflict. In my view, it is a revolutionary concept that will be of great benefit to many families, and I support it wholeheartedly.
Michael C. Gottlieb, Ph.D., ABPP, Board Certified Family Psychologist
During a painful and confusing time in the lives of divorcing parents, collaborative family law offers a humane and effective way to reach agreements based upon a joint effort to understand and meet all family member’s most important concerns and interests – a way for all family members to win, even during a time that much is being lost.
Mark R. Otis, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist
I am elated to see the field of family law moving in a direction of collaboration. The divorce model of past has involved, at times, intense litigation and conflict which prevented families from moving forward with positive momentum. I have trained with attorneys who are learning to move from an adversarial approach to a collaborative approach in order to perform the helpful services they can provide as counselors at law. I have seen collaborative attorneys assist their clients in resolving their conflicts in order to find closure by the end of the divorce. This helps the couple understand their role in the divorce which enables them to better problem solve, explore appropriately the best interests of themselves and their children, co-parent their children, and move into new relationships without the continued baggage from the previous marriage. I am both honored and excited to be involved with this new movement and am hopeful that more families will resolve their divorces with minimal volatility and be able to resume their new lives without continued conflict. I hope all divorces will be handled by collaborative attorneys in the future.
Patrick A. Savage, MA, LPC, Co-Director of Park Cities Counseling Center, Dallas, Texas, Certified Diplomate of the American Psychotherapy Association
Divorce is a time of many confusing and conflicting emotions. It is also a time when decisions have to be made that will have a huge effect on the lives of each spouse, as well as the children, for many years to come. Many couples begin this process with a breakdown in their ability to communicate, negotiate, or focus on the future. Through the modeling of effective communication and interest-based negotiation that occurs between attorneys, the couple has the ability to develop similar skills. Doing so will only aid their potential to effectively co-parent in the future. Collaborative Law is a process that allows for and honors the need for each person to participate in the important decisions being made, as opposed to the decisions being made in a courtroom. I am highly supportive of this process in a divorce proceeding as it empowers the participants, allowing each to have choice and input about the children and marital estate.
Linda Solomon, LPC, LMFT, LCDC, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Collaborative Law gives a divorcing couple the opportunity to tailor a post-divorce agreement to their own specific concerns in a respectful and deliberate manner. The Collaborative Law process is efficient, it works, and it supports the value of each family member. In addition, the process provides a useful model for the couple to resolve future disagreements and meet each other’s, and their children’s, needs without resorting to recriminations and competitive problem solving that can only poison family relationships.
John A. Zervopoulos, Ph.D., ABPP, Clinical and Forensic Psychology