Collaborative Law Law and Legal Definition

Collaborative law in the context of divorce practice is designed for the attorneys for both of the parties to assist the parties to resolve conflict using cooperative strategies rather than adversarial techniques and litigation. In collaborative law cases, the parties and the lawyers sign an agreement which provides that if there is to be a contested motion or issue, both parties' attorneys must withdraw from the representation.

Other professionals may be brought into the collaborative process as needed, but are neutral parties independently retained by each spouse. These other professionals must also withdraw and cannot assist either party if the matter goes to court. Collaborative law involves binding agreements by both parties and the attorneys to disclose voluntarily all relevant information, to make good faith efforts, and prohibits the threat of litigation during the process.

Notice of termination of participation in the collaborative law agreement is governed by the terms of the agreement and contract law principles. Generally,the participation agreement doesn't prevent a party from terminating the collaborative law process and deciding to litigate. However, the clients are typically advised at the outset that doing so will require them to hire other counsel. The following is an example of a termination clause in a collaborative law agreement:

If a party or lawyer decides that the Collaborative Law process is no longer appropriate,and elects to terminate the Collaborative Law process, he or she shall do so immediately with written notice to all parties and their attorneys.