Brittle & Brittle P.C. encourages families contemplating divorce to consider the less confrontational Oregon collaborative divorce process

The Oregon Collaborative Divorce process provides a positive alternative to litigation.

Collaborative divorce law is a positive alternative to the traditional adversarial posture of family law litigation. It was designed to keep families out of court, to preserve relationships, and to facilitate creative options for resolution of family conflict.

Collaborative law is a “process” option, just as is traditional litigation. A Collaborative Divorce lawyer takes a much different approach than a standard divorce lawyer. Rather than each side starting off in an adversarial position, both parties come together with collaboratively-trained lawyers and agree not to litigate or threaten to litigate while working through the collaborative process. The end goal of this process is to reach a settlement on all terms of divorce. If either party chooses to go to court, both attorneys must withdraw and the clients must hire litigation lawyers. As part of the process, the parties may choose to involve a larger team of professionals, including personal coaches, financial advisors, and child specialists.

Collaborative Divorce allows you to design an outcome that best suits your family.

Clients report high levels of satisfaction with the Collaborative Divorce process; in fact, nearly 90% of all collaborative cases result in settlement within the process. One of the most appealing aspects of Collaborative Divorce is the flexibility and control it provides to the parties. Our Portland, Oregon collaborative divorce lawyers help clients control the outcome of their divorce, as well as the pace of the process, by focusing on which factors are the most important to the client. Rather than decisions being made by a judge who is unfamiliar with a family, clients are able to craft divorce agreements that best suit their families. Parties are able to determine what is important to their own individual case, rather than considering what is “relevant” under the law. Collaborative Divorce provides clients with both legal and emotional support throughout the process and allows clients to proceed at their own pace, rather than one dictated by the court system. Negotiations and financial information remains confidential, since neither side will be submitting financial records or other private information in a trial setting.

Developing an agreed outcome through dialogue and cooperation preserves relationships with former spouses, and allows people to transition into their new lives in a manner consistent with their values. In cases where children are involved, this increases the likelihood of better co-parenting. Further, when parties reach a resolution together, they are more likely to adhere to that agreement, limiting future conflicts.

Oregon Collaborative Divorce provides you with a team of professionals, all dedicated to your goals.

Collaborative negotiations are similar to mediation and traditional settlement negotiations in that they seek to resolve issues outside of court. However, unlike in traditional litigation, collaborative negotiations are made at four-way meetings with both clients and attorneys present. Also unlike litigation, collaborative negotiations are “interest-based.” This means that the negotiations focus on identifying what is most important to each party and how those interests can be met. The parties will share and learn all relevant factual and legal information, identify interests and concerns, and co-create a resolution.

In addition to having the legal advice and guidance of their individual divorce lawyers, clients also have the option of bringing in other professionals to assist the family. Often each client has a Divorce Coach, a mental health professional who helps the client work through the emotional complexities of a divorce. If children are involved, a Child Specialist may be hired to represent the interests of the children and to develop the best parenting plan for the family, with the input of both clients. Often a Financial Specialist is hired to assist in optimizing a financial settlement for clients. The Financial Specialist provides insight into long-term results of a contemplated settlement. This team approach allows the parties to gain professional advice that focuses on the individual family’s needs, without resorting to dueling expert testimony as in traditional litigation.

The Collaborative Divorce process requires lawyers to commit to settlement.

By disqualifying lawyers from representing their clients in any adversarial process, the Oregon Collaborative Divorce process requires lawyers to commit to and advocate only for settlement. Because going to court is not an option, Collaborative Divorce lawyers invest the time and effort into developing negotiation and settlement skills that help their clients reach resolution. While your lawyer is still your advocate, just like in traditional litigation, Collaborative Divorce lawyers are better able to work together with the clients to reach the clients’ stated goals.

Oregon Collaborative Divorce lawyers are specially trained in the process.

Collaborative Divorce lawyers have all of the knowledge and drafting skills of a conventional attorney. However, Collaborative Divorce lawyers are also specially trained to facilitate conversations so that the parties may productively confront conflict rather than avoid it. They learn how to engage clients in meaningful discussions about a client’s needs, goals, and concerns. These skills are not yet taught to a meaningful degree in law schools, which is why Collaborative Divorce lawyers seek additional education in this special area.

The Collaborative process applies to other situations, beyond divorce.

The Collaborative approach can be transferred beyond divorcing couples. It is useful in situations where one party is relocating and a new parenting plan needs to be developed, where financial circumstances have changed and spousal support or child support need to be readdressed, or where co-parenting has broken down. Before filing motions to modify, talk to a Collaborative lawyer about your options.

What To Expect In A Legal Consultation

As a service to clients, we meet with all potential clients in person for the first consultation. This allows us to determine which lawyer is best-suited for any given case, based on the subject matter and the client’s personality. In addition to the client getting two-for-the-price-of-one, this allows both lawyers to meet potential clients and hear the background of each case. Although ultimately only one lawyer will handle the case, the other will then know the basics of each case and can answer questions when a client calls. We offer this initial consultation for a flat-fee of $100.00.

When starting the process for finding a lawyer, potential clients often ask “who is the best divorce lawyer in Oregon or the best Portland collaborative divorce lawyer?” The answer is: “the lawyer who gets the results you need.” Like the rest of family law, there is not one-size-fits-all when it comes to selecting an attorney. The best lawyer is the one who listens to your circumstances, provides solid legal advice, and facilitates and achieves your goals. Contact one of our Portland divorce lawyers today to set up a consultation.
Contact us today to learn more about Collaborative Law or to discuss whether this process is right for you.