Collaborative Law

Collaborative Law

Darren M. Shapiro, Esq. is a trained Collaborative Lawyer that handles collaborative cases on Long Island and the surrounding areas. His patience, diligence, creativity and kindness are all tools to aid in coming to a collaboratively made settlement. Darren has the years of experience and training to give effective and practical advice throughout the process.

Collaborative law is different than mediation, since both parties are represented by collaboratively trained attorneys that provide legal advice to their clients. It is distinct from litigation as it is a non-adversarial process. Everyone involved in a collaborative law case, including the lawyers, sign an agreement to settle the case without litigation. In the event that either side decides to litigate, the attorneys cannot continue to represent their clients. Both the husband and wife must then retain a different lawyer to litigate the case. The parties agree to use their best efforts to avoid litigation. This agreement helps to facilitate a resolution as everyone is committed to the process.

The settlement in this process is made together, by the parties, in a collaborative fashion, through a series of four way or larger meetings. A four way meeting is attended by the lawyers and their clients. The attorneys are cooperative, not confrontational with the other side during these meetings, in contrast to a litigation. Other professionals such as parenting coaches, financial professionals, or other experts that can shed light on how best to resolve the issues may be enlisted in the case to facilitate the settlement. They, too, attend these settlement meetings, when they are retained on a case. This accounts for the larger settlement meetings. Different techniques are applied to solve the problems encountered in tailoring the resolution of the marriage.

Collaboratively negotiated cases can avoid the emotional upheaval and conflict that is often associated with a contested divorce. Financially, it is usually less expensive than a highly contested case. Collaborative law cases are usually resolved a lot quicker than a litigation. This alternative method allows the parties to craft divorce agreements that make sense for you and your children. Ultimately, each client retains control as no settlement is made until everyone is comfortable with the included decisions. Parties to a collaborative divorce can go through the process peacefully. Bad feelings are minimized by this alternative dispute resolution method. A husband and wife can move on with their lives with dignity.

Judge issued decisions often have deficiencies in that they are not crafted to account for the intricacies of each family. Judges are unable to intuit, even after a long trial, the complete dynamics of each situation. It should not be surprising that people that go through the collaborative process are less likely to engage in family law litigation in the future.

A part of the understanding in the agreement to go the route of a collaborative divorce is that there is to be free and voluntary disclosure of financial and any other necessary information. In contrast, attorneys draft and serve discovery demands, have examinations before trial (depositions), subpoena records, and use other time consuming tools to learn about the condition of the other side in a litigated divorce.

Collaborative law is a growing alternative model to get divorced in New York. In the collaborative law method, the parties agree to attempt to finalize a settlement in a divorce without litigation. Lawyers that have completed collaborative and mediation training should be employed by both the husband and wife in order to utilize this procedure.

Collaborative law is designed to be a non-adversarial process in which each party still receives legal advice from their lawyer. The case is settled through a series of meetings with the parties, their lawyers and often other professionals are utilized such as child specialists, coaches and financial neutrals. Everyone involved commits to try to settle the necessary issues without litigating. The goal of collaborative law is to design a settlement, with the representation of a lawyer throughout the process, while avoiding high conflict.

Darren M. Shapiro, Esq. is an experienced matrimonial and family law attorney that completed collaborative law and mediation training. He can represent you in the process whether your case is in Long Island, Queens or the greater New York City area. Please call for a free initial consultation about collaborative law or the other methods available through this office. It would be our pleasure to speak with you about it.

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