Collaborative Divorce Overview

Child custody overview

Don’t Pay High Fees & Destroy Your Family

Often, when two people get a divorce, they both hire lawyers to “fight” for them during the divorce. Collaborative Divorce is a different approach that uses negotiation instead of battling it out in court. During a collaborative divorce, both parties still hire attorneys, but they agree to go through the process with a number of different neutral third-parties to guide them through dilemmas. Examples of these neutral parties include custody evaluators, accountants, and counselors.

What is mediation?

Mediation is a way of resolving disputes through a neutral third party, called the mediator. In mediation, the parties work out issues revolving around child custody, spousal and child support, and the division of property.

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We are experienced in collaborative divorce. Call our office at (702) 476-9629 to schedule your FREE initial consultation.

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Collaborative Divorce: A More Detailed Look

Collaborative divorce assists parties in avoiding stressful, time-consuming, and financially burdensome litigation.

Although there is no legal definition, it can be thought of as a process wherein the lawyers for both sides and the parties attempt to resolve conflicts by employing cooperative techniques rather than adversarial litigation.

These methods can include settlement and/or mediation.

Settlement Discussions

Settlement discussions are confidential and take a variety of forms. A lawyer may meet with a client, formulate a list of requests, and send a letter to the opposing counsel who represents the other party. The lawyers may correspond back and forth with the usual give and take of any negotiation. In some cases, the parties are better served by a Settlement Conference where the parties and the lawyers try to discuss the issues and come up with compromises that are acceptable to all parties. In divorce matters, sometimes the parties are so bitter that it may not be constructive for them to meet with each other. In those instances, the lawyers may meet alone.

In Nevada, a lawyer must have settlement authority i.e., the client’s permission to enter into a settlement. Therefore, the lawyer should converse back and forth with the client to reach settlement.

If the parties do reach agreement, then it is memorialized into one of several types of pleadings depending on the case and where it is in the process. For example, if it is a divorce and before a Complaint has been filed, then the agreement could be reflected in a Decree of Divorce within an uncontested Joint Petition.

Sometimes a third party may help the parties along during the Settlement Conference. Often this person is a Senior Judge, Retired Judge, or Supreme Court Settlement Judge. This person will often separate the parties into different rooms and shuffle back and forth conveying offers and helping the parties think the matters through from a third-party perspective.

Settlement discussion are usually held at the desire of the parties. However, Courts can order another collaborative method called “mediation.”

Mediation

NRS 3.500(2)(a) made “the impartial mediation of the issues of custody and visitation and any other nonfinancial issue deemed appropriate by the court” mandatory for parties in custody disputes. Generally this means that at the first hearing for temporary orders the Judge will send the parties (in Clark County, Nevada) to the Family Mediation Center (FMC).

FMC provides many services including mediation and child interviews.

Mediation occurs in private with a mediator who attempts to define issues and help the parties reach an agreement. The mediator then sends a letter to the Court that says the parties reached an agreement (with a Parenting Agreement) or they did not. The mediator does not tell the Judge what the parties discussed.

The Court can order a child interview. During this process an interviewer will ask a child questions usually about their home life or particular areas of concern such as the forms of punishment their parents use.

Conclusion

A good attorney should always be open to clients attempting to settle their cases. However, the attorney must always keep litigation in the back of their mind and not let the other party use a pretense of “settlement discussions” to make one let their guard down or stop preparing for litigation.

However, in those situations where both sides are sincere, collaborative divorce can reduce the stresses inherent in divorce and/or custody litigation.

Call now to schedule your FREE consultation!

We are experienced in collaborative divorce. Call our office at (702) 476-9629 to schedule your FREE initial consultation.

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