The framework of the collaborative process allows parties to avoid an inherently adversarial approach in favor of a mutual, problem solving approach that emphasizes the highest priorities for the parties and their family. In the Collaborative Process, participants work together with a team of professionals to find mutually acceptable resolutions to conflicts. The collaborative process is based on mutual respect and a desire to avoid court intervention altogether. The parties sign a collaborative participation agreement describing the nature and scope of the matter. They voluntarily disclose all information which is relevant and material to the matter that must be decided, and agree to use good faith efforts in their negotiations to reach a mutually acceptable settlement. Each party must be represented by a lawyer whose representation terminates upon the undertaking of any contested court proceeding. The process typically involves other professionals who serve as neutrals, and may include mental health, financial, and/or parenting professionals, whose engagements also terminate upon the undertaking of any contested court proceeding.
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