Family Law Attorneys Helping Divorcing Spouses in Washington Secure Amicable Resolutions Through the Collaborative Process
Serving the Areas of Puyallup, Bonney Lake, Gig Harbor, Lakewood, and University Place
If you and your spouse are ready to end your marriage and wish to finalize the terms of your divorce out of court, you will want to consider the collaborative law process. With a collaborative law divorce, the spouses and their attorneys work together to achieve an amicable resolution without asking a judge to make decisions on their behalf.
At Blado Kiger Bolan, P.S., we have significant experience representing clients in collaborative divorces. Our attorneys are knowledgeable about the collaborative method, and we work with outside financial experts and other specialists who have an appreciation for the process. We believe in finding non-contentious, cost-effective solutions for our clients; for many couples, this means obtaining a collaborative law divorce.
Why Collaborative Law Works
The collaborative law approach is designed to minimize conflict between the parties, reduce the damaging effects of divorce on children, keep matters confidential between the parties and their lawyers, and enable the parties to come to terms that meet their needs for years to come. The process also helps spouses remain amicable after their divorce, allowing them to better co-parent their children. Using the collaborative approach, divorcing spouses are able to maintain control of the process, and make their own decisions rather than presenting their arguments in open court.
The key to a successful collaborative law divorce is a commitment to the process. Almost all couples will run into points of contention while going through divorce, and the collaborative method focuses on exploring mutually agreeable options rather than letting disagreements devolve into contentious disputes. For spouses who have an open mind and the ability to keep their emotions in check, the collaborative method can pay dividends in terms of both financial and emotional investment.
How Collaborative Law Works
In a collaborative divorce, the spouses and their attorneys agree at the outset that they will not take their divorce to court – or even threaten to do so. The parties commit to negotiate in good faith and to disclose all relevant information (a requirement for divorces generally, but one that often leads to costly litigation). In addition to relying on the advice of their attorneys, the spouses can call upon other professionals, including child and family specialists, divorce coaches, and financial advisors. The spouses, their respective attorneys, and these professionals meet on a mutually agreeable schedule to discuss and resolve all issues involved in the divorce, and the process ends with the spouses signing a written settlement agreement that gets submitted to the court.
The Collaborative Divorce Process:
- Each spouse chooses independent legal representation.
- The spouses enter into a written agreement that commits them to the collaborative process. Pursuant to the agreement, if either spouse later decides to go to court, both spouses will be required to hire new attorneys.
- Each spouse meets with his or her attorney privately to discuss the upcoming stages of the divorce and what he or she can expect during the process. The spouses may meet with their attorneys – either in person or over the phone – on several occasions while their divorce is pending.
- The spouses, through their lawyers, will disclose all financial and other information that is pertinent to their divorce.
- The spouses and their attorneys will work together to address the issues involved in their divorce. This typically takes place over a series of sessions, and involves seeking outside professional help when necessary.
- Once the spouses have come to terms, they will sign a written settlement agreement. The settlement agreement gets submitted to the court, and the spouses’ divorce becomes final.
Couples can use the collaborative process to resolve all of the issues involved in their divorce – property division, maintenance, child support, and establishing a parenting plan. When spouses disagree on individual items (such as which spouse should keep certain community property assets or how to split the holidays), their lawyers help them explore possible alternatives. While each spouse works with an independent family law attorney who is committed to protecting only his or her client’s best interests, attorneys who practice collaborative law seek to protect their clients by finding mutually agreeable solutions rather than fighting battles in court.
Attorney Spotlight: Nicole Bolan, Esq.
Attorney Nicole M. Bolan, a Shareholder of Blado Kiger Bolan, P.S., has extensive training in collaborative law. She believes in finding amicable and cost-effective solutions to her clients’ legal issues, and she brings this approach to representing spouses in collaborative divorces. In addition to her other affiliations, Nicole is a member of the Executive Board of the Collaborative Law Professionals of Pierce County, and is a member of Collaborative Professionals of Washington and Collaborative Divorce Tacoma.
Speak with a Tacoma, WA Divorce Lawyer at Blado Kiger Bolan, P.S.
If you would like more information about the collaborative process or would like to discuss whether a collaborative divorce makes sense for personal circumstances, contact the Tacoma, WA law offices of Blado Kiger Bolan, P.S. To schedule a confidential initial consultation, call (253) 272-2997 or send us a message online today.