Divorcing spouses don’t necessarily have to be adversaries, consuming their precious time and resources with divisive litigation. A more innovative approach to divorce, known as collaborative law, helps the parties settle their differences and end their marriage with limited court intervention. Although no single process or approach is correct for every divorcing couple, growing numbers of couples are accepting collaborative law as an effective alternative to mediation or litigation.
To begin a collaborative law case, each spouse retains his or her own collaboratively-trained attorney. Both parties and their attorneys then sign a written agreement, reflecting their intent to reach a mutually beneficial settlement without resorting to litigation through the court. During the collaborative divorce process, the parties meet both privately with their attorneys and jointly as a group to discuss the terms of their settlement agreement. Additional experts, such as divorce coaches, neutral financial professionals, and child specialists, may be retained during the process to assist with the settlement. These additional experts, collectively referred to as “team members,” are neutrals, i.e. they do not advocate for either party, but rather provide unbiased advice in their area of expertise to help guide the parties and their attorneys toward a fair and amicable agreement. For example, a financial professional may provide advice to the parties as a property settlement that would result in the most favorable tax implications for each spouse post-divorce. A child specialist may provide advice to the parties regarding the best parenting plan for their particular situation.
When both parties reach a final agreement, formal settlement documents will be drafted by the collaborative attorneys, who will follow the parties to the finalization of their case.
Even with the assistance of attorneys and a collaborative team, the parties may be unable to come to an agreement, or one or both parties may decide to proceed with litigation in court. If this occurs, the collaborative agreement terminates. Attorneys and any “team members” utilized during the collaborative portion of the process are disqualified from participating further in the adversarial court proceedings. This encourages the parties and their attorneys to fully commit to the collaborative process through cooperation and problem-solving, reduces the likelihood of unnecessary conflicts arising during the process, and encourages the parties to resolve their disputes more efficiently and amicably. Contact the collaborative law attorneys of WARD FAMILY LAW, LLC, today to schedule a consultation.
I'm so thankful that I found Jennifer and her awesome team to help me with my divorce! It was incredibly stressful and scary to go through this process, especially with two little ones, but she has given me the support and confidence that I need. She is extremely intelligent, level-headed, supportive, and reasonable! I was anxious in the beginning thinking that I would have to go to court, but she gave me the peace of mind that I needed to get thru it and not be anxious. I would highly recommend her to anyone going through this difficult process. I…
She is a nice lawyer. She helped me to fix my passport issue among other things, including family problems.
Initially, I'd thought to navigate through troubled waters on my own in the divorce process due to the cost. I hadn't before needed representation in any court case, and, not being familiar with the costs involved in having a lawyer, I was worried about moving forward with one. My fear was the expense. I felt comfortable with Jennifer Ward from the moment I first spoke with her - contacting her to set up a consultation costs you nothing. In the end, the retainer and fees spent to end my case on a high note were worth every penny. They sent…
As with most family law issues emotions were running very high and I needed legal help with my divorce and to reach my goals for parenting time with my children. I found WARD FAMILY LAW after a lot of research and everyone there worked out great for me. They always took the time to listen to the situation and really assess what the best plan of action would be. They really helped with the situation and helped me get to a place of peace with my divorce and time with my children. I highly recommend them!
Jennifer Ward and the lawyers at WARD FAMILY LAW were the perfect attorneys for me in a very complex and challenging child custody case. This was an intensely painful, frustrating and contentious relationship with the father throughout the months it took to resolve parenting time. Jennifer was patient, affirming, honest, realistic, and available at every turn. She explained the various court actions and helped me balance the risks and benefits of each move. Her advice was right on. After countless court dates, I got more than I could have ever imagined or dreamed of. Words can't express the gratitude I…
Jennifer Ward of WARD FAMILY LAW made me feel safe and comfortable, but most importantly heard. Her whole legal team was professional and communicated well. Fast responding when I had questions... I feel like they really understood my concerns and backed me up and that felt good! I would recommend her to anyone looking for support through the divorce process.
I typically do not do reviews but after my experience interviewing lawyer after lawyer, I felt compelled to share my experience. So many offer a “free consultation” but don’t be fooled. Often this is just to get you in their office and start charging. I was referred to Jennifer by a friend and didn’t go right away. When I felt like I had exhausted all my options I called Jennifer for her free initial consultation - which was actually free - she took the time to listen to all the facts of my case, my concerns, what outcome I was…
Highly recommended. I know Jennifer Ward personally and professionally - she has an apt ability to provide meaningful insight and clarity into complex issues. I have and will continue to recommend her services to anyone seeking legal assistance.
Jennifer was very helpful, professional and gave me very sound advice. The process was quick because she filed everything in a timely manner. I'm very happy with how she represented me.
Working with Jennifer was a smooth and seamless process. I was most impressed with her negotiation skills, attention to detail, and knowledge of the law. I highly recommend WARD FAMILY LAW to anyone looking for a skilled attorney.
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