WE CAN SHOW YOU THE WAY                           COLLABORATIVE LAW and  MEDIATION

     The Divorce Counseling Group of Washington DC  @ 2009                                                                                                Contact Us

Reality is - few divorces are peaceful -

and for those, they work it out on their own

- for everyone else there is

Divorce Mediation

Contentious does not mean litigious.

Collaborative Law.....

....is a dispute resolution model in which both parties retain separate, specially-trained lawyers whose only job is to help them settle the dispute. If the lawyers do not succeed in helping the clients resolve the problem, the lawyers are out of a job and can never represent either client against the other again. All participants agree to work together respectfully, honestly, and in good faith to try to find "win-win" solutions to the legitimate needs of both parties. No one may go to court, or even threaten to do so, and if that should occur, the Collaborative Law process terminates and both lawyers are disqualified from any further involvement in the case.

Similar to Mediation, but more expensive

In mediation, there is one "neutral" who helps the disputing parties settle their case. The mediator does not give legal advice, and cannot help either side advocate its position. If one side becomes unreasonable or stubborn, the mediation can slow while the mediator tries to deal with the problem. If the mediator does not find a way to deal with the problem, the mediation can break down, and no agreement reached.

Collaborative Law was designed to deal more effectively with these problems, while maintaining the same absolute commitment to settlement as the sole agenda as is in mediation. Each side has quality legal advice and advocacy built in at all times during the process. If one side becomes unreasonable or lacks negotiating skills, the lawyers take over most of the process to bring the clients to agreement. It is the job of the lawyers to work with their own clients if the clients are being unreasonable, to make sure that the process stays positive and productive. However, since there are two lawyers always “on the clock” through the process, the process can many times be more than twice as costly as mediation, but yet much less expensive than litigation. If the Collaborative Law process breaks down, then it become very expensive because each party must hire new attorneys and start from scratch. For more information on Collaborative Law.