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Collaborative Resolution of Marital/Family Law Cases

There is a new process in marital/family law called collaborative law which was created in 1990 by Stu Webb, a family law attorney from Minnesota.  Mr. Webb found that the traditional divorce was often a damaging process that left multiple wounds in the family structure, due to the adversarial nature of the court system.  As a result of his concern, he created an alternative conflict resolution process, known as collaborative divorce. 

In this process, the parties agree not to go to court and rather settle their differences through joint sessions, facilitated by two trained collaborative lawyers.  Moreover, the parties may need to use a neutral, such as a communication coach, child specialist or financial specialist who become part of the team and work with the family towards resolution of their issues.  The sessions continue until the parties are able to reach an agreement.  Once an agreement is reached, the attorneys take the necessary steps to finalize the paperwork and submit them to the court for finalization of the divorce.

Collaborative Practice of Law on The Today Show

The fundamental principle of the collaborative process in the family law setting is that you and your family are in control, not the court and not the lawyers.  You identify your goals and by working together, with your team, you find ways to address the goals, through creative problem solving.

Although there are more parties involved, often the process is more cost effective, less emotionally damaging and more private than the traditional divorce process.  

Mrs. Dupuy-Bruno is a trained collaborative marital attorney.  She is a board member of the SW FL Collaborative Professionals group which has stringent requirements for membership, including particular training requirements.  Mrs. Dupuy-Bruno is also a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.

We invite you to investigate further whether a collaborative approach to your marital/family case is right for your family.

Please check the following resources as a start to your research on this topic.