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Collaborative Divorce

Anna Mae Perillo was a founding member of the Jersey Shore Collaborative Law Group and a Member of the Two Rivers Chapter of that group dedicated to educating the public about this alternative to the traditional litigated divorce great model for a couple or family dealing with the major life-changing event of divorce. Collaborative Divorce is a team approach in which plans for each family members’ future can be made in a productive non-adversarial setting. Anna Mae trains other Collaborative professionals in the techniques of effective negotiations. Her skills and experience can be trusted and counted upon to assist you in this often confusing and uncertain time of your life.

Divorce should not be viewed as a conflict or a war to be waged, but rather as a series of issues to be resolved and important decisions to be made.

Collaborative divorce is similar to Mediation in that you and your spouse will build an agreement yourselves instead of divesting yourselves of control to a attorneys who are more interested in fighting at your expense or to a judge who does not know you or your children. Also like Mediation the needs of the children can be taken into account, and actually by choosing to Mediate or Collaborate, you will already be taking that first step to making sure the children will remain emotionally healthy during and after the divorce or separation and make sure you will be able to effectively co-parent the children. The biggest difference between Mediation and Collaborative Divorce is that in a collaborative session each party will be represented by individual attorneys who will be there for you throughout the process. This model is preferred by clients who wish to have an attorney present with them at all times, but still want to resolve their case amicably, privately, and often less expensively. Collaborative practice involves:

  • A pledge by the couple and the collaboratively trained attorneys not to go to Court until an agreement is reached.

  • This pledge avoids hurtful and expensive motions where attorneys try to portray the “adversary” in as negative a light as possible.

  • It avoids the expense of two attorneys billing for waiting around for hours in Court for unnecessary conferences and motions.

  • With Collaborative Divorce every minute of attorney time is spent productively.

  • There will be a thorough exchange of information by both spouses.

  • Assets can be evaluated if necessary by agreed-upon professionals  avoiding the cost of often paying for two or three experts.

  • Solutions for moving forward will be found with the particular needs of the parties and the children instead of the generic approach Courts must take due to the volume of cases handled by a particular judge.

  • Mutual respect is shown to all parties making discussions more productive and an agreement more likely to be achieved.

  • Each Collaborative attorney is specially trained and has had to learn mediation techniques. In fact, Anna Mae Perillo provides the mediation training to professionals aspiring to be part of our Collaborative Law groups.

  • The agreement is reached in a series of four-way conferences in the privacy of the Collaborative attorneys’ offices.

  • As with Anna Mae Perillo’s Mediation services, a team approach is often used bringing in financial professionals to assist with tax issues and other financial issues, and bringing in counselors specially trained to deal with the emotional needs of the couple and/or the children.

For a couple with children, divorce is not an end of a relationship, but a restructuring in order to co-parent healthy children. Mediation and Collaborative Divorce can assist in that restructuring.

Read Anna Mae Perillo’s article Collaborative Divorce: A New Beginning. 

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