In a collaborative divorce both parties are represented by an attorney. You must agree, however, that the two attorneys will not prepare your case for trial – no depositions, no hard ball tactics, no strategies, no half-truths, there must be open sharing of information. The attorneys, and the parties, are instead committed to working toward an agreement that will satisfy the needs of both parties.
One caution I have is to realize some attorneys who have not been trained in collaborative law have taken to using the term on their website or with clients. The collaborative approach is more than simply being nice and cooperating with the other side. Local experience has been that unless your attorney has received some basic training in this model, the case has little chance of success. If a collaborative process breaks down and one party decides they want a contested divorce then both of the collaborative attorneys must withdraw and you will have to start the process over from square one with a new attorney.
Not all couples are good candidates for this process. Couples who want to avoid increasing conflict, want to establish a healthy co-parenting relationship for the benefit of their children, and do not want to spend a lot of money on adversarial legal posturing are great candidates for collaborative divorce.
To see a list of trained Knoxville collaborative divorce attorneys you may now go to www.KnoxvilleCollaborativeDivorce.com to see bios and get contact info. Divorce Better Knoxville is proud to have organized the April 2013 training for local attorneys and I know this service will help many families.