"Collaborative divorce is a unique, reasonable approach to handling a divorce"
Attorney Mark Borns is a member of the Collaborative Family Law Council of Wisconsin. Collaborative divorce allows parties to obtain a divorce and maintain their dignity in the process. It reduces costs and reduces stress. In the right case, a collaborative divorce can make the divorce process much easier on children.
When a marriage is ending, does it necessarily mean that the divorce must be a lengthy courtroom process? More and more divorcing couples, attorneys, mental health specialists and financial advisors believe there is another, better way.
The collaborative law process was developed in the 1980s and has become an increasingly popular method for divorcing couples. The ultimate goal is to have a peaceful and dignified divorce that does not have to involve expensive and timely litigation. Initially, each party obtains their own divorce attorney who has specific collaborative law training and is a member of the Collaborative Family Law Council of Wisconsin. Parties agree under written contract to participate in the collaborative law process. The process then continues in an amicable manner, where both parties and their attorneys meet to peacefully negotiate a resolution on all divorce issues. If an agreement cannot be reached, then both attorneys must forever withdraw as legal counsel in the divorce.
Collaborative practice is a unique, reasonable approach to handling a divorce or other family law matter and is founded on three core principles.
- A written pledge not to take the dispute to a contested hearing in court and disqualification of the collaborative team (including the attorneys) if either party ultimately chooses to break the pledge.
- Open communication between the parties with an honest and good faith exchange of information.
- Negotiations that lead to a mutually acceptable settlement, taking into account the highest priorities of all family members.
When you engage in the collaborative process, you may use specially trained attorneys, mental health practitioners and financial specialists to maximize the positive outcomes for every member of your family.
It’s a productive process for divorcing couples and those wanting legal separations, annulments, pre- or post-nuptial agreements, the dissolution of non-marital and same-sex relationships, and for paternity cases. The issues addressed in collaborative cases are the same as in traditional litigation: child custody, placement and support, property valuation and division, maintenance, taxes and insurance.