Experienced Lynchburg Collaborative Law Attorney
Collaborative law is one of the newer options for divorce in Virginia, and Marcy Jones was one of the very first Lynchburg family law attorneys trained in collaborative divorce law. She is a founding member of the Virginia Collaborative Professionals of Lynchburg and the author of one of the most respected books about collaborative law — Graceful Divorce Solutions.
Should You Consider a Collaborative Divorce?
If you agree with most of the following statements, then you should.
1. You want a civilized, respectful resolution of your issues.
2. You would like to keep open the possibility of friendship with your partner after the divorce.
3. You and your spouse will be co-parenting children and you want the best co-parenting relationship possible.
4. You want to protect your children from the harm associated with litigated dispute resolution between parents.
5. You and your spouse have friends and extended family in common that you both want to remain connected to.
6. You have ethical and spiritual beliefs that place high value on taking personal responsibility for handling conflicts with integrity.
7. You value privacy in your personal affairs and do not want details of your problems to be available in the public court record.
8. You value control and autonomous decision making and do not want to hand over decisions about restructuring your financial and/or child-rearing arrangements to a stranger (i.e., a judge).
9. You recognize the restricted range of outcomes generally available in the public court system, and want a more creative and individualized range of choices available to you and your spouse or partner for resolving your issues.
10. You place as much or more value on the relationships that will exist in your restructured family situation as you place on obtaining the maximum possible amount of money for yourself.
11. You understand that conflict resolution with integrity involves not only achieving your own goals but finding a way to achieve the reasonable goals of the other person.
12. You and your spouse will commit your intelligence and energy toward creative problem solving rather than toward recriminations or revenge – fixing the problem rather than fixing blame.
2001 American Bar Association
What is Collaborative Divorce Law?
Collaborative divorce law is the newest divorce dispute-resolution process. The key difference between collaborative law and conventional divorce is the clients’ pledge to reach an agreement without going to court. It is a client-centered and client-controlled process that focuses on “interest based negotiation” rather than the traditional positional bargaining process.
The goal of collaboration is to develop respectful relationships, solve problems together, and prevent a battle in court. In order to accomplish this, the parties agree in writing that they will not go to court. This agreement is what makes the process work. No one may go to court or even threaten to do so. If that occurs, the process terminates and both collaborative lawyers are disqualified from further involvement in the case.
Hallmarks of the practice are: (1) that the focus is on settlement and the future court is not an option and (2) it’s a “transparent” process – there is full and complete disclosure by the clients and the attorneys give their advice and experience in the presence of everyone during the meetings.
Why is the Collaborative Divorce process often better than other methods to resolve a divorce?
The collaborative divorce process is designed to empower the clients to come up with their own marital separation agreement that is specific to their needs and concerns. The result they achieve in this process is more creative than anything they would achieve in the adversarial process, and it addresses and meets the needs of both parties.
In this process, the clients and the lawyers take a reasonable approach to all issues. Where there is not agreement, all parties use their best efforts to brainstorm options and proposals which would meet the fundamental needs as expressed by each party. Ultimately, there is compromise on both sides and an acceptable solution is found.
Learn more about collaborative divorce law from one of the most experienced collaborative divorce attorneys in Lynchburg and Central Virginia. Call Marcy Jones at 434-845-2463.