What is Collaborative Law?

Welcome to Merritt Law’s Q&A style videos. These are answers to some of the more common questions that we receive at Merritt Law. We hope that they help to provide some clarity and assurance in your family law matters.

“What is Collaborative Law?”


Hi, Chris Merritt, Board Certified lawyer here at Merritt Law. A common question we get is “What is Collaborative Law, and do you offer it?

Collaborative law is basically a process where the two parties and their attorney sign a contract at the beginning of the case agreeing that they won’t go to court, other than for an agreed order or for prove up for a divorce. They will attempt to resolve all their disputes between themselves, without the necessity of a judge making some sort of determination in their case. Yes, we do offer this.

There are typically two styles of collaborative law. One is what’s called the team approach, where you have the attorneys, a neutral mental health professional, and also an accountant of some sort or nature to help with any money issues. Then there’s the traditional collaborative, where you have the two parties and you may hire those neutral experts as you need them as you go through the case.

When considering collaborative law, it’s very important that you consider the honesty of the other side. Are they going to be open and disclose the actual information that is needed in the process? Another thing to consider is mental health. If the other spouse or the other party has some issues with mental health, collaborative may not be the process for you. But if it is, it can be a wonderful experience, and it can help the two of you as you go forward beyond the divorce process or beyond the custody battle that you may be involved in.

I hope this has been helpful, and if you have any other questions that you’d like answered, please submit them at the comment section below.

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