An Alternative to Litigation
Family law matters, such as
divorces, are typically governed by state laws regarding domestic relations and
matrimonial rights. When a person decides to get married, it is a legal
action that results in the creation of binding legal duties born from
the marital relationship. Similarly, when a couple decides to get divorced,
a court is responsible for declaring the end of the marital relationship
in accordance with applicable laws.
Most legal disputes are resolved through conventional means of litigation,
where the competing legal claims of the parties are at odds, requiring
court intervention and judgment. This helps ensure that the best argument
and evidence prevails over weaker claims and proof. This is known as the
“adversarial” system of law.
However, in family law cases, many attorneys and family law professionals
began noticing how the adversarial system of law would exacerbate existing
conflicts and completely disrupt weakened familial relationships.
To address this issue, as well as the growing rate of divorce cases in court,
alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods were developed. ADR was designed to minimize the acrimony between
the parties and the expenses that both would incur in divorce cases—all
without court intervention.
Collaborative divorces are a form of ADR that gives the parties greater responsibility and control
over the direction of their divorce, creating opportunities for compromise
and cooperation, so damaged relationships do not deteriorate.
The Role of Experts in Collaborative Divorce
In the collaborative divorce process, the parties are represented by attorneys
who specialize in collaborative law representation. Collaborative attorneys
serve a distinctly different role from adversarial attorneys, seeking
compromise and settlement instead of victory of the opposing party.
Because the role of a collaborative lawyer is so different from that of
a traditional litigator, collaborative lawyers are legally obligated to
refrain from representing their clients in subsequent litigation, should
the collaborative law process fall apart.
Additionally, the collaborative law process relies heavily on the guidance
and input of other professionals with expertise in specific family law
issues. It is common for mental health professionals to consult on collaborative
divorces and facilitate understand and settlement. A mental health expert
can guide the parties through difficult scientific concepts while providing
them with advice regarding sensitive matters involving minor children.
The collaborative law process also often relies on financial professionals
who can advise the parties on sophisticated financial concepts.
Contact Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich for Legal Advice
If you are confronting a divorce case or other legal dispute arising from
California family law, you can benefit from the professional legal services
of an experienced family law attorney at Hanson, Gorian, Bradford &
Hanich. We have years of experience handling various family law matters—including
divorces where the parties can resolve their differences out of court
using the collaborative law process.
Please call Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich at 951-506-6654 or
contact us online to schedule a consultation about your legal rights today.