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Dedicated to fair and equitable settlements in Westchester County, NY
Collaborative divorce is a structured process for spouses looking to end their marriages and would like to be represented by counsel for the purpose of negotiating a non-litigated comprehensive agreement. Best practices include a Collaborative team that includes, depending on the circumstances, a neutral financial advisor and a mental health professional to fully address all issues involved to meet the needs of the entire family.
Parties and counsel (and the other team members) formally commit through a Participation Agreement to work together to achieve a mutually agreeable settlement without the pressure of court driven deadlines and participation. Collaborative law allows you and your spouse to openly discuss matters of importance with the legal assistance of your attorneys. Our attorneys guide you to understand what documents and information must be collected and if any other professionals must be retained. These types of individuals could include child psychologists, forensic accountants, or any other number of specialists.
The Westchester County divorce attorneys at Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein LLP have decades of combined experience in Collaborative law, have been trained by the New York Association of Collaborative Professionals, and can ensure your best interests are represented throughout the process.
How Does Collaborative Divorce Work?
Each party is represented by a Collaboratively trained attorney whose role is to counsel you through the divorce process and work with your spouse’s attorney (and the team if assembled) in order to reach a mutually agreeable global agreement. This agreement will be the basis of an uncontested divorce judgment.
Critical to this process is the agreed focus to participate in good faith negotiations and voluntarily share all relevant information, that respects the need to identify what is important to you as the family restructures.
Primary issues for most divorces include child support, spousal maintenance, child custody and property division. Parties and counsel (and other team members as appropriate) meet on an agreed-upon schedule and as necessary information is gathered or interim issues arrive to discuss these issues.
Advantages of Collaborative Divorce in Westchester
Collaborative law has distinct benefits. These include:
- Avoiding court. With a Collaborative divorce, you won’t have to litigate your divorce and instead can handle the settlement outside the courtroom thus eliminating the possibility of a negative trial outcome. This can reduce emotional distress, lack of control, wait time and costs.
- Incentive to collaborate. In the unlikely event the Collaborative process fails, both attorneys must withdraw from the process so that there is no possibility that an attorney is representing you or your spouse for the purpose of a strategic litigated advantage. This also enhances the parties’ incentive to fully participate together towards a common goal.
- Increased control. You and your attorneys are able to decide the terms of your settlement instead of a judge.
- Insulating children from conflict. Using Collaborative divorce protects children from the court child custody process. Instead using specially trained professionals can help you and your spouse arrive at custom-designed parenting plans.
- Privacy. The Collaborative process affords you and your spouse confidentiality during the divorce process
How Is Collaborative Divorce Different from Mediation?
Both mediation and Collaborative are structured processes that help people knowledgeably resolve conflict with the assistance of trained legal professionals. In mediation, a neutral facilitates the discussions, can provide legal information but does not represent either party. Other professionals, including separately retained attorneys, are included in the process as mutually agreed. In Collaborative each spouse retains their own attorney who drive the negotiations. Both processes are flexible and assume that the parties will share all relevant information as well as cooperate to reach an agreement.
Mediation and Collaborative require an ability for both spouses to engage in negotiations free from coercion or fear of retribution. The attorneys and mediators at Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein LLP can help you evaluate if the process is right for you.
CREATIVE SOLUTIONS TO DIFFICULT & COMPLEX PROBLEMS
All families and marriages are unique - our attorneys take the time to listen to our clients to fully understand the circumstances of their case. Only then do we advise the best legal option for their goals.
PROMPT RESPONSES TO INDIVIDUAL NEEDS AND INQUIRES
Divorce is a time of transition. We understand the emotional and financial stress that clients experience during the divorce process – from day one our team ensures that we provide our clients with prompt feedback so that they are updated on their case every step of the way.
CHOICES AND OPTIONS TAILORED TO EACH CASE
We are one of the only Manhattan divorce law firms offering all three options for divorce: litigation/negotiation, collaborative law, and mediation - providing custom strategies and solutions for our clients.
INDUSTRY THOUGHT LEADERS DEDICATED TO YOUR SUCCESS
Our attorneys provide frequent expert legal commentary for national media outlets and have been quoted in numerous publications including Fox's Business, NBC News, ABC News, CBS News and many more.
Your divorce settlement is an important and legally binding contract. The Collaborative law attorneys at Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein LLP can help you and your spouse work toward a mutually beneficial agreement outside of the courtroom. We represent you with years of experience behind us and advocate for your best interests. Schedule a consultation today by calling us at (212) 466-6015 or contacting us online. We conveniently have offices in White Plains.