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Collaborative Law

IT IS POSSIBLE TO DIVORCE WITH RESPECT AND DIGNITY

Separation and divorce is not easy. It is difficult for all family members. For many people, the collaborative process is a better way because:

  • The objective is a settlement that benefits the family
  • It is client driven, rather than attorney driven
  • Uses an interest-based, problem-solving approach
  • The potential for conflict is reduced
  • You avoid the economic and emotional impact of litigation
Children’s needs are addressed especially well in the collaborative process. There is no pain-free way to end a marriage, but respect allows you and your partner to create an environment in which you and your children can thrive.
HOW DO YOU START THE COLLABORATIVE PROCESS?

Collaborative Law has been evolving for over a decade in Wisconsin. In fact, a number of Wisconsin practitioners have been active in the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP) since its inception.
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When you use the collaborative process, you use specially trained lawyers, mental health professionals and financial specialists to maximize the positive outcomes for every member of your family.
Here is the best way to begin:
  1. Learn about what "collaborative divorce" is all about. Read about it.

  2. Talk to a collaborative professional. Every situation is different. You might be most concerned about the impact of divorce upon your children, finances or communication.

  3. Introduce the Collaborative approach with your spouse or partner. This is a voluntary process. It is important for both of you to agree that collaborative is the best process for you to use to get through your divorce. Talk with the collaborative professional you interview for ways to inform your partner about collaborative divorce. You know your partner better than anyone.

  4. Put together your team. Once you and your partner have agreed to use the collaborative process, you will each retain your attorney and meet with him or her prior to a first joint meeting. It is best to select and meet with your neutral coach prior to the first joint meeting so that the coach can facilitate this session.

  5. Schedule a first joint meeting. At the first joint meeting, meaning the first meeting in which you meet with your entire collaborative team, you will sign the Collaborative Participation Agreement, identify your major goals and concerns and plan the next steps of your process. If you have not already hired a coach, financial specialist or neutral child specialist, you will make decisions about assembling the rest of your team at this time.

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