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Collaborative Law

A collaborative law divorce may be the answer for the couple who is proceeding with a separation or divorce and wants to avoid litigation, but one or both parties is not comfortable acting as their own advocate.
Rochford Law & Mediation is a firm in Rochester, NY and the Finger Lakes region, specially trained in collaborative law divorce methods, which emphasize compassion, creative problem-solving, and open communication. The results are more productive and meaningful dialogue in pursuit of non-adversarial and amicable resolutions.

What is a Collaborative Law Divorce?

The collaborative law process is an alternative method of divorce when neither spouse wants to pursue litigation. Each spouse still retains their own attorney for representation throughout the process.

Attorneys who practice collaborative law divorce are specially trained in non-confrontational negotiations. They team with clients, other attorneys, and, as needed, professional specialists to promote an atmosphere of respect, dignity, cooperation, and open communication during the settlement process.

When to Choose a Collaborative Divorce

If one spouse:

feels uneducated about family finances (for example, one partner has previously handled all the financial decisions);


is in a more difficult place emotionally or financially;


is not confident being their own advocate;


has experienced any partner-related physical or emotional trauma during the relationship;


has any misgivings that could prevent them from being 100% comfortable relying on a single party (mediator or judge) to lead the process;

…then a collaborative divorce might be right for you.

How Does Collaborative Law Divorce Work?

Because each spouse retains an attorney, each has built-in legal advice and advocacy during a collaborative law divorce negotiation. The parties and their attorneys sign a participation agreement which commits everyone to good faith negotiations and full faith disclosure. Decisions are reached without going to court.

The spouses may meet individually with their attorneys, but all discussions and negotiations that shape decisions regarding finances, property, and dependent children take place in four-way meetings.

The collaborative law divorce process is both significantly less expensive and less demanding emotionally than traditional litigation or court-based divorce. Most couples are able to reach an agreement within four to five two-hour meetings, and collaborative law divorces can be completed within four to six months, including the preparation of the divorce judgment roll.

Depending on the clients’ specific needs, with their permission, third party professionals, such as child specialists or financial experts, may be engaged to assist with certain issues.

Think a Collaborative Law Divorce May be Right for You?

Contact Rochford Law and Mediation today