Collaborative Practice is a voluntary dispute resolution process in which parties settle without resorting to litigation. Our collaborative practice is led by PAUL WALTI who received his collaborative practice training as a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals and through his participation in the San Mateo Collaborative Practice Group with which he worked extensively from its inception until just last year.
Throughout the process, the parties are represented by their own collaboratively trained family law attorney. At the start of the process, the parties and the collaborative professionals sign a collaborative participation agreement describing the nature and scope of the matter. The participation agreement involves a commitment not to litigate or threaten to litigate. The collaborative professionals agree to withdraw from representation if the matter proceeds to litigation. Further, the parties commit to an open and transparent exchange of all relevant information. Until a settlement agreement in writing has been signed and filed with the Court, the process is private and subject to confidentiality agreements.
The substantive discussions and negotiations are held with the parties and their collaborative professionals during private meetings. Mental health co-parenting professionals assist in coaching the parties and assisting with the preparation of a full parenting plan when the parties have minor children. A truly neutral financial expert works with the parties to prepare financial reports which will be used to assist in the discussions of support and division of assets. During this process, the parties agree to use good faith efforts in their negotiations to reach a mutually acceptable settlement.
Utilizing the collaborative process provides each party with the support and guidance of having your own lawyer without going to Court. It allows a party to have the benefit of coaches as well as child and financial specialists who are all working together as a team to problem solve.