The way collaborative law works is:
• The process is voluntary and everyone has to agree to use Collaborative Law. Each person hires a lawyer trained in the collaborative dispute resolution process.
• All participants and their lawyers sign a Participation Agreement and then prepare a schedule for “face to face” meetings. Each meeting follows an agenda and is attended by the parties and their attorneys. Unless all parties agree otherwise, only topics on the agenda are discussed. The agenda helps keep the discussions on track and helps to minimize surprise and emotional issues. Each person has the opportunity to express that party’s complaints, explain any concerns, and listen to the complaints and concerns of the other people involved.
• The Participation Agreement provides that all sides will exchange all necessary information which is in their possession or control. They also agree that they will not make unnecessary and expensive discovery requests from the other parties.
• The participants agree to seek an expert opinion regarding a fact or issue, or they may elect to mediate or arbitrate an issue of the dispute.
• If at any time during the process a person decides not to continue participating, the collaborative lawyers must withdraw, and the parties continue their case in court with new attorneys.
For more information concerning collaborative law, visit our website at BrazosLawyers.com.