Yes, you can. You never give up your right to take issues to court, if that’s what you want to do. But if you do that, then the collaborative process has to terminate. The lawyers cannot go to court with you, and therefore, they have to resign and help you make the transition to lawyers who will take matters to court for you. This can be done at any point that you determine that the process is not working as you expected it to. But I should say that this does not happen very often in our experience. I would say less than ten percent of people who choose this find that they’re unable to get to a full resolution.
Pauline H. Tesler is a Certified Family Law Specialist with Tesler, Sandmann & Fishman in San Francisco and Mill Valley, CA. She is also a pioneer in Collaborative Divorce and devotes her practice exclusively to the collaborative model. Tesler is a co-founder of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals and the author of two books on Collaborative Divorce. She can be reached at (415) 383-5671.