As you might expect, it is not uncommon that divorcing spouses may have trouble trusting one another. The collaborative process is predicated on the parties acting in good faith. As part of the agreement the parties sign, a collaborative attorney can withdraw if a party is willfully dishonest or is otherwise obstructing the collaborative process.
However, the collaborative process will not necessarily fail. This is where the collaborative team can be particularly vital. Though the parties may not fully trust one another, they can trust their lawyers and any other allied professionals they choose to enlist. And because these professionals do not advocate for any specific party, the spouses can trust that they will help them reach an agreement that protects both parties’ interests.
Founding partner of McGaughey & Spirito in Redondo Beach, California, Joe Spirito has been practicing family law since 1982 and is currently serving as secretary of the Los Angeles County Bar’s Family Law Section.