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FAQ

Why do I need a lawyer if my spouse and I agree to settle issues amicably?

Even couples who agree to divorce amicably often need help resolving difficult financial and child custody issues. In collaborative divorce, each party is guided to an informed agreement by professionals experienced in the process. Having an advocate for the fair settlement of all issues can lead to a more satisfactory settlement to both parties and less emotional strife.

How is collaborative divorce different from mediation?

The mediator is a neutral while in a collaborative divorce each party as his/her own counsel whose role is to represent only his or her client. The collaboratively trained attorney provide legal advice to the parties, where the mediator cannot.

How much does it cost?

Collaborative divorce is often less expensive because the parties and their attorneys work in a productive, forward focused manner, which is not necessarily the case in an adversarial process. The emotional costs are lower as well.

Is this process for anyone who wants an uncontested divorce?

Generally, yes. However, the collaborative attorney will assess with his or her client as to the appropriateness of the process. 

What happens if an agreement is not reached?

If the parties terminate the process, they can choose another method of resolution. However, the collaborative attorneys cannot represent the client in a contested litigation.

Call 703.279.5140

Evening and weekend appointments are available under certain circumstances
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Thank you again for all your advice and professionalism.

Collaborative Divorce

Catherine M. Reese and Christine P. HissingCatherine M. Reese and Christine P. Hissong are collaboratively trained attorneys who offer clients representation in the Collaborative Process, an alternative dispute resolution process.  Parties who engage in the Collaborative Process as a means of resolving the issues involved in their separation and divorce, such as custody, support and division of property, do so without the threat of litigation, and in so doing, retain more control over their experience, finances, and outcome, than in any other process.  Collaborative divorce is routinely referred to as the "kinder, gentler divorce".

Collaborative divorce is worth considering if you want to protect your children from emotional stress, a civilized resolution, the best co-parenting relationship possible, control over your finances and children, to protect your privacy, or to resolve conflict with intergrity.

No Threat of Litigation

Parties and their collaboratively trained attorneys enter into a Participation Agreement and commit to resolving the parties' issues outside of litigation and neither the parties nor their counsel will threaten to pursue litigation.

The parties' collaborative attorneys cannot represent his or her collaborative client in litigation should a party choose to terminate the Collaborative Process.

Financial Safety & Control

Open discussions and full disclosure between all parties and professionals. The financial cost is dictated by the complexity of the parties' issues and the parties' level of effort and cooperation.

The parties have control over the timing of meetings and actions in accordance with their schedules and when taking action is more financially manageable.

Team Approach

A "Collaborative Case" may consist only of the parties and their attorneys, or it may include a number of other neutral professionals, depending upon the parties' needs, including Divorce Coaches, Parenting Specialists or Coordinators, Financial Professionals, or Mortgage Brokers.

It makes the most sense for the parties to hear from experts in each of these areas, and in most cases, at a lesser expense than having the attorneys take on those expert roles.

Privacy

The Collaborative Process provides the parties with the privacy that litigation cannot.

Issues are discussed in team meetings, not aired in the courtroom.

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FAQ

Why do I need a lawyer if my spouse and I agree to settle issues amicably?

Even couples who agree to divorce amicably often need help resolving difficult financial and child custody issues. In collaborative divorce, each party is guided to an informed agreement by professionals experienced in the process. Having an advocate for the fair settlement of all issues can lead to a more satisfactory settlement to both parties and less emotional strife.

How is collaborative divorce different from mediation?

The mediator is a neutral while in a collaborative divorce each party as his/her own counsel whose role is to represent only his or her client. The collaboratively trained attorney provide legal advice to the parties, where the mediator cannot.

How much does it cost?

Collaborative divorce is often less expensive because the parties and their attorneys work in a productive, forward focused manner, which is not necessarily the case in an adversarial process. The emotional costs are lower as well.

Is this process for anyone who wants an uncontested divorce?

Generally, yes. However, the collaborative attorney will assess with his or her client as to the appropriateness of the process. 

What happens if an agreement is not reached?

If the parties terminate the process, they can choose another method of resolution. However, the collaborative attorneys cannot represent the client in a contested litigation.

Call 703.279.5140

Evening and weekend appointments are available under certain circumstances
quotebegin

What Our Clients Say

Thank you again for all your advice and professionalism.