June 27, 2016
Monthly Misconception for June-“Any lawyer can handle a collaborative divorce.”
Well, technically yes. But you wouldn’t want a lawyer to represent you in a collaborative divorce unless, at the very least, she:
1. Has completed a formal basic collaborative divorce training presented by a recognized and reputable collaborative divorce trainer.
(True collaborative attorneys don’t stop with the basic training but continue to devote time, effort and their own money to continually improve their skills.)
2. Is an active member of a collaborative practice group or organization.
(Collaborative professionals learn from each other all the time. This peer training is just as important as the formal trainings. Look for my upcoming post about the June 24 Collaborative Divorce Lawyers Association Retreat)
3. Is committed to making the time necessary to support her collaborative divorce clients, for example to schedule and hold regular and frequent collaborative team meetings and come to each meeting fully prepared.
(Getting two spouses and two or more divorce professionals together can be challenging. Being hindered by one lawyer’s heavy ever changing litigation schedule can add to the challenge and scheduling frustration and hinder progress. )
4. Is committed to the no court pledge and signs a collaborative agreement in which she promises to withdraw from the case if it goes to litigation.
(Beware of a lawyer who says they are collaborative but is unwilling to sign the no court pledge. By definition, there is no collaborative divorce without this no court pledge.)
So when you are considering retaining a lawyer for your collaborative divorce, don’t hesitate to ask them directly about all these points. The quality of your collaborative divorce experience, as well as the outcome of your divorce, will likely depend on it.
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