I am sorry to hear that you are going through this. Collaborative law can be very beneficial and most contracts advise that you are not bound and that 'traditional' avenues are available if no Agreement is reached. You are still in the driver's seat as to whether you can accept the terms of any offers.
Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Massachusetts. Responses are based solely on Massachusetts law unless stated otherwise.
Collaborative law is a GOOD thing. Don't be scared. You may not yet understand what the process is and the options and alternatives. You need to hire an attorney. He may simply be waling away form you to avoid confrontation, which while it seems negative, may actually be a smart way for him to act. It would be nice if all parities could work tougher to come to a resolution, but emotion and lack of understanding of the process always gets in the way. Hire an attorney. Someone you like, trust, and comes recommended. Collaborative law is a GOOD, kinder, gentler approach. If it fails you can go toe to toe in front of the Judge. THAT is bad, and costly. Good luck.
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I am a huge supporter of Collaborative Divorce. Here is some history and facts to comfort you. The Collaborative Divorce Process was first widely accepted in Wisconsin. It is slowly moving throughout the rest of the country. Ohio Governor John Kasich just signed a bill into law a week ago recognizing Collaborative Divorce in Ohio and setting forth the terms of the process. Here is how Collaborative Divorce works: First, the parties and the attorneys sign a contract called a, "Collaborative Divorce Participation Agreement." The Agreement states how the process is supposed to take place, but the main point is this: If the parties cannot come to an agreement to dissolve the marriage and the decision is made to pursue an adversarial process (namely, a divorce action), BOTH ATTORNEYS must step aside and CANNOT represent the parties any further. The parties must retain new attorneys to pursue an adversarial process. The new attorneys cannot be part of the former attorneys' firms either. This completely separates the Collaborative players from the adversarial players. Basically, the Collaborative Divorce Process keeps the parties and the attorneys focused on settling the issues. It takes a special kind of attorney to work in the Collaborative environment because he/she must sign the contract to make it official, otherwise it's just regular settlement negotiations. Always make sure the parties and the attorneys sign a Collaborative Divorce Participation Agreement before starting your negotiations. Thus, you have nothing to fear, but always communicate openly with your collaborative divorce attorney so all of your concerns and goals are made known to him/her. Good luck to you.
The opinions and answers provided by Matthew Langhals, Attorney at Law do not constitute legal advice. If you are seeking legal advice, it is highly recommended that you retain an attorney and provide the details of your legal issue so he/she can advise you competently and properly.
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