Read the transcript of this video below.
Collaborative divorce is a process that a couple may choose to use instead of going through the court system. There are various reasons people may want to stay out of the court system; litigating your divorce in court requires you to appear in public courtrooms and the decisions are made by a publically elected judge. Each of our state court judges has many cases assigned to him or her and most family court judges have caseloads of over 1200 cases at any one time. The judge, by necessity, will have a limited amount of time to spend on your unique case.
Unlike the court process, collaborative divorce is a completely private process that allows the parties to reach a settlement at their own pace after plenty of time is taken to consider all the facts and circumstances. Our firm recommends collaborative divorce, especially where there are children involved, as it tends to allow parents to reach agreements that can form the foundation of a good shared parenting relationship for the long-term future. We also recommend this process for high-profile couples who own businesses or high-net-worth couples who want to keep their personal lives out of the public view.
How does collaborative law work?
To use the collaborative law process, each spouse must obtain an attorney. The attorneys work with the spouses, a financial planner or CPA, and a communications coach to assist the parties in reaching a full settlement agreement without ever having to appear in court. To start the process, the parties sign a collaborative agreement, which is like a contract between the spouses. The settlement is achieved through a series of meetings in private conference rooms while each party is given advice from both the financial planner and his or her own attorney.
All of the lawyers at Little, Gilman-Tepper & Batley are highly trained and skilled at helping people reach a full and fair agreement in this completely private process.
New Mexico Family Law Attorney Jan Gilman-Tepper has been practicing family law for more than 30 years, focusing her practice in the area of divorce and business issues. The co-founder of Little Gilman-Tepper& Batley P.A. in Marquette, New Mexico, Jan is a Board Certified Family Law Specialist. In addition to litigation, she also offers alternative dispute resolution services, including collaborative law and mediation.