148 Deer Hill Avenue, Danbury, Connecticut 06810
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Collins Hannafin, P.C

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Call to speak with an attorney at
Collins Hannafin, P.C

Video conferences available

Collaborative Divorce

Greater Danbury collaborative divorce law

Collaborative divorce law is a dignified, cooperative approach between parting couples and their lawyers interested in negotiating and settling issues arising from a family separation without going to court. The goal of collaborative divorce law is to minimize the emotional and financial damage to parting spouses, partners, and their children by addressing the parties’ unique problems and issues in a calm and thoughtful manner. We at Collins Hannafin, P.C. are committed to providing our clients with a dignified and effective alternative to the adversarial divorce process.

What are the advantages of collaborative divorce?

Collaborative divorce provides a process in which divorcing or separating couples may interact with each other respectfully, avoid court interference, emphasize the needs of children, resolve division of property issues, and utilize creative problem-solving and interest-based negotiation. Collaborative practice is often less costly and less stressful than litigation. Since the parties involved negotiate the terms of their own divorce settlement, they maintain control over the issues and outcomes. The process is also less time consuming than litigation. It is completely private and the clients direct the process.

How does collaborative divorce work?

Each party agrees to work with an attorney who has special training in the collaborative divorce process. Both parties and their lawyers sign a contract committing them to participate in a respectful process resulting in an out-of-court settlement. Both parties agree to freely and fully exchange all relevant information and to seek solutions that are mutually acceptable. The goal in a collaborative process is to develop effective relationships among the participants, employ creative problem solving, and prevent expensive contested litigation.

Collaborative practice provides for negotiations in four-way meetings where both parties and their respective attorneys are present. The four-way meeting allows each spouse to explore the issues that are important to him or her in a safe and informative environment with the protection of his or her lawyer. Face-to-face meetings allow the parties to actively participate in creating solutions rather than leaving the responsibility in the hands of other people.

What is the role of my attorney in a collaborative divorce?

Lawyers in a collaborative practice act as communication and negotiation coaches while advising their clients about their legal rights, entitlements and obligations. The lawyers agree at the outset of the process not to take part in any litigation that may occur if an agreement is not reached so that all of their time and effort is focused on settlement rather than posturing or preparing for court hearings. No time is wasted in court and everyone, including the lawyers, is focused on creating a legal agreement that addresses the unique needs and concerns of each party.

Collaborative practice also provides an opportunity to bring other professionals into the process when appropriate. Neutral mental health professionals and neutral financial consultants, who are trained in collaborative practice, can be consulted throughout the process to address concerns in a creative manner.

Child custody and collaborative divorce

In divorce litigation, a judge will listen to both sides, consider whatever evidence each side presents, and award custody based on what he or she believes is in the best interests of the child. The court may take several factors into consideration when deciding custody, including the developmental needs of the child, the ability of the parents to meet these needs, the child’s past and current relationship with each parent, and the ability of each parent to be an active participant in the child’s life. In the end, the court will make a decision that may not please any of the parties or children involved. Collaborative divorce allows parents to reach an agreement on custody that reflects their own wishes and those of their children. If sole custody is agreed upon, collaborative divorce still allows parents to work out parenting schedules and provide access to children in a way that does not create animosity or bitterness on the part of those involved.

Contact Collins Hannafin, P.C. today

We, at Collins Hannafin, P.C. understand that divorce is a difficult and painful process for all involved. Often, contested litigation makes the divorce process worse for families. Collaborative divorce is a strong effort to focus on creative problem solving in a safe and protected environment. We offer exceptional collaborative practice services. Some of our lawyers are members of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, which is an international organization of collaboratively trained and committed lawyers, mental health professionals and financial specialists. Visit the website at www.collaborativepractice.com.

Our collaborative law attorneys are Eva M. DeFranco and Robert M. Opotzner. Please see our Collaborative Law – FAQs page on collaborative law for more information.

Call 203-885-1938 or click here to contact Collins Hannafin, P.C. so one of our team members can assist you. Do not delay learning about collaborative divorce, mediation and other dispute resolution options during a divorce.


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