Comparing Collaborative and Litigation: The Client’s Perspective

April 27, 2015 by · Comments Off on Comparing Collaborative and Litigation: The Client’s Perspective
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Bruce Pruitt-Hamm

By Bruce Pruitt-Hamm

At Pruitt-Hamm Law & Mediation Services

I was reviewing with Sam (fictional) the 3 main options for resolving the disputes involved in his divorce case: litigation, mediation and collaborative divorce. Sam responded directly: “I want to know: 1) how long will it take; 2) how much will it cost; and 3) what outcome do you predict.” Sam was stating succinctly what I had heard from most of the clients coming in to my office when considering how to choose between various dispute resolution options.

Comparing the options of litigation, mediation and collaborative process on these 3 measures is a legitimate, but challenging, task. Ultimately, of course, no professional can predict accurately how long, how much or how good any one particular client’s case will be. But can we give any information that is helpful or “evidence based”?

In this article I provide some possible answers to these 3 questions of “how long”, “how much” and “how good” (aka outcome). First, studies on how long collaborative cases take compared with litigated cases. Second, I review IACP data with other claims about the costs of litigated divorce and review a small scale study comparing costs. Third, I provide a summary analysis of outcomes from a case that reached a collaborative settlement and then (due to one disputant believing a “salesperson” lawyer that she could do better in court) went into litigation. Read more

The Co-Parenting Handbook

January 28, 2015 by · Comments Off on The Co-Parenting Handbook
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Kristin Little KCCL members Karen Bonnell and Kristin Little recently released a new book, The Co-Parents Handbook.  They remind us that when parents divorce, they may no longer be husband and wife, but they will be mom and dad forever.

In their book, Kristin and Karen provide a road map for moving from the difficulties of the divorce itself into successful co-parenting.  Recommended by numerous Collaborative professionals and others, the book is a practical “how to”, answering parent’s questions about helping children thrive past-divorce.  They provide guidance, tips, and insights on managing the emotional roller coaster and inevitable conflict that are part of any divorce and beyond.

Believing In The Collaborative Process

July 24, 2014 by · Comments Off on Believing In The Collaborative Process
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Kevin ScudderBy Kevin Scudder

Law Offices of Kevin Scudder

People who choose the Collaborative Process for their divorce or legal separation come in all shapes and sizes, from different economic circumstances, from different cultures and nationalities, and with different life experiences.

Even with these differences all these people have one thing in common:
A belief that through the Collaborative Process the result of their divorce or legal separation is going to be better than it would be in any other process they could choose. It is this belief that is the guiding force of the process, not the law, not the lawyers or other professionals on the Collaborative Team. When the belief is strong the process runs more smoothly. When the belief is diluted, the process can be like walking in deep mud, something akin to a slog.

Simply believing in the process, however, is not enough. The process of divorcing, separating households and finances, and coming up with a parenting plan for the children is hard work. If you do not believe in it the process will be harder to get through. Belief in the process will make it easier to address the tough issues that will happen in the process because the goal of achieving that better personal result remains in focus.

Trust the Collaborative Process. It will be a benefit to you and your family.


Healthy Communication Practices for Separating & Separated Parents

June 3, 2014 by · Comments Off on Healthy Communication Practices for Separating & Separated Parents
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Stephen GaddisBy Stephen Gaddis

at Gaddis Mediation

It is strongly recommended that parents review and observe the following practices for facilitating healthy, respectful, effective communication during their separation/divorce process and thereafter:

1. Primary Means of Communication. The primary means of communication between the parents on parenting issues should be via e-mail, US mail or through their attorneys. Unless the parents have had a mutually successful history of texting and telephone communication, these means are discouraged except for emergency or urgent matters, as they do not afford the recipient the same opportunity to understand and explore the issues, develop and evaluate alternative solutions or give fair consideration to the requests being made or the primary needs of the child. Children’s issues should NOT, under any circumstances, be discussed in the presence of the child.

Read more

Collaborative Divorce on CNBC

May 21, 2014 by · Comments Off on Collaborative Divorce on CNBC
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CNBC recently published an article on their website about Collaborative Divorce – “Collaborative divorce can ease emotional, economic stress” by Deborah Nason.  It cites several Collaborative professionals, including Ross Evans, President of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP).

The article included several interesting research findings, including that 58% of Collaborative cases settle in less than 9 months, and that the average cost of a Collaborative case runs between $17,800 and $25,600.  Costs for litigated cases were estimated to run three or more times that amount. Read more

Amicable Divorce

May 13, 2014 by · Comments Off on Amicable Divorce
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Mike FancherBy Mike Fancher

Seattle Divorce Services

Are you looking for an amicable divorce? Collaboration is a good process for helping you achieve an amicable divorce, but no matter how good your team is, success still goes back to what you and your spouse bring to the table.  One factor that makes a huge difference is attitude.

Amicable is what happens when both parties look out for each other.  When each party is only interested in looking out for his or her own best interests and does not care how things work out for the other, conflict is almost inevitable.  It is very difficult to stay amicable when the two parties have different goals, because the goals themselves are in conflict.

On the other hand, when the parties can come together with a similar goal of creating solutions that work for both, then they can work side by side to achieve that goal.  If each party feels like the other person has their back, then there can be trust, and trust if very important to any kind of amicable process.

The Divorce/Co-Parenting Coach: A Confident-Guide through Turbulent Times

April 22, 2014 by · 1 Comment
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by Karen Bonnell

at coach mediate consult

You’re traveling on an airplane when the Captain’s voice comes across the loud speaker and says, “all passengers return to your seats; fasten your seat belts — we’re heading into some difficult weather and will be experiencing turbulence”. The plane begins to move in unpredictable ways. Your stomach roams between your toes and your throat. You think to yourself, “I wonder if this is serious? How long can this last? What’s going to happen?” You watch the flight attendant and carefully assess the look on his/her face: is he/she SCARED? The flight attendant knows if this is typical, something we should be concerned about, if there’s anything more we should be doing to stay safe. The flight attendant is trained to know what to do in an emergency and how to bring calm to a stormy ride.

Read more

The Value of Using a Neutral Financial Professional

April 15, 2014 by · Comments Off on The Value of Using a Neutral Financial Professional
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By Sandy Voit

Tangible Solutions

Collaborative Divorce offers a team of professionals who can help you create a successful path. One of the team members, a neutral financial professional, can help both of you to achieve a fair and equitable financial settlement. We have successfully completed training in the financial issues of divorce.

Certified Divorce Financial Analysts/Planners have experience with income and expense analysis, stock options, pensions and profit sharing, health benefits and insurance and tax issues. We are bound by a code of ethics and must maintain significant continuing education credits. We have well-rounded knowledge in financial planning concepts, and mediation training – all of which enable us to provide you with a structure and a process to facilitate resolving you financial settlement. There are no dueling professionals, only a sharing of information with a common desire to achieve a solution that can be agreed upon by all parties.

Here is an article on the value of using a neutral financial professional.


Second Saturday Program

April 8, 2014 by · Comments Off on Second Saturday Program
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By Laura Sutkus

Sutkus Law Firm

Do you want to know more about collaborative law, the different processes used to handle a divorce, and the legal, financial and emotional aspects of divorce?

The Second Saturday program is held the second Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. at Highline Community College in Des Moines.  Register on-line at Highline Community College for a fee of $59.

Each workshop is taught by professionals trained in collaborative law.  We cover a broad range of legal, financial, family and personal issues related to divorce.  Workshop participants will gain greater understanding of the potentially complex divorce process.

We will discuss the stages and mechanics of divorce, issues related to children, finances in divorce, future planning challenges and opportunities, reaching settlement, and community resources and support.

Your participation and questions are welcome at any Second Saturday.

Talk to a Divorce Coach

October 24, 2013 by · Comments Off on Talk to a Divorce Coach
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Mike Fancher

By Mike Fancher

Seattle Divorce Services

Some people considering a Collaborative Divorce would like to meet with a Collaborative professional along with their spouse to get more information together.  Many Collaborative lawyers prefer to meet with one spouse individually, because of our state bar ethics rules on conflicts of interest.

Therefore another possibility is to have an initial meeting with a Collaborative Divorce Coach to get more information.  Read more

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