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Take Control Of Your Divorce With Collaborative Law

Litigation used to be the only method for obtaining a divorce. This is an adversarial process that can create unnecessary conflict and leave important decisions up to a judge instead of being decided by the divorcing parties.

Thankfully, Washington residents now have numerous alternative dispute resolution options, including collaborative law. If you’re looking for a more peaceful and cooperative way to get divorced, the team at Akiona Law, PLLC can lead you through the collaborative law process. Firm founder and lead attorney, Ululani Akiona, can provide you with the tools, resources and guidance you need for a successful collaborative law outcome.

How Collaborative Law Differs From Mediation

Because they are both alternatives to traditional litigation, many people confuse collaborative divorce with mediation. They do share some similarities, but they also differ in some important ways.

As we discuss on our mediation page, mediation is the process by which two parties (usually a divorcing couple) try to work out the details of their case with the help of a neutral third party. The mediator cannot make decisions or give legal advice. Instead, their job is to facilitate negotiation between the parties. Each party can also consult with their own attorney.

If mediation ultimately proves unsuccessful, the case will then proceed to litigation, where each side presents its case and the judge issues rulings. At mediation, it can feel like you’re operating under the shadow of the court because if you can’t reach agreement, then you’re going to court.

Collaborative law also involves out-of-court negotiation between the two parties. Instead, of using a mediator, however, both parties negotiate directly with one another with the assistance of their respective attorneys. Additional professionals are also brought in to advise and help resolve differences, including therapists (such as, a divorce coach or child specialist) and a financial specialist/planner (such as, a certified divorce financial analyst).

The collaborative law process is also binding, meaning that couples agree (in writing) at the beginning of the process to reach a settlement without going to court. This incentivizes everyone to negotiate peacefully and in good faith.

The Numerous Benefits Of A Collaborative Divorce

Compared to traditional litigation, collaborative law has many important benefits:

  • It is likely to cost less
  • It is likely to be resolved more quickly
  • The terms are private, meaning that none of the family’s “dirty laundry” will be aired publicly
  • The two parties have much more control over the outcome of the case and negotiate terms that truly work best for the whole family
  • It is less contentious and stressful than litigation, which is better for both the couple and their children

Finally, the collaborative law practice can be done completely virtually. This is not an option in a traditional divorce.

Discuss Your Legal Needs With An Experienced Attorney

Collaborative law isn’t possible or appropriate in every case, but it might be right for you. If you’d like to better understand your legal options and learn how Akiona Law, PLLC can help, contact our office in Everett, Washington, to schedule an initial consultation. We offer honest and individualized representation during your time of crisis. You can reach out online or call 425-740-2209.