Connecticut Collaborative Divorce
with Collaborative Lawyer Kathleen B. Martin
Collaborative divorce provides the parties with another method to resolve their divorce without going to court. It requires each party to work with an attorney who has been trained in collaborative divorce law. The parties and their attorneys agree to work cooperatively as a team to resolve issues and reach a fair settlement without the threat of litigation. All negotiations occur in the presence of the parties and their attorneys, with the meetings held at the office of either attorney.
Typically, the parties and their counsel work with a coach/psychologist who is present during the collaborative meetings to assist in addressing the emotional aspects of the process. In many cases, the presence of a coach/psychologist reduces the time it takes to resolve the divorce. The process is one of transparency, with everyone working together as a team to generate constructive solutions. Where children are involved, the solutions include consideration of the overall family interests. Depending on the needs of the case, the collaborative team may include financial specialists who have also been trained in the collaborative process.
If the parties are unable to resolve their divorce using the collaborative method, each party must retain new counsel for litigation, which will result in substantial additional legal fees beyond what each party has paid in the collaborative process. This condition – disqualification of the collaborative attorneys upon failure of the collaborative process - is intended to provide incentive to stay in the collaborative process until the divorce is finalized.
Attorney Martin has over 30 years of extensive experience in resolving complex family law disputes through litigation, mediation and the collaborative process. Her work in representing parties and minor children has strongly influenced her belief that a skillful collaborative attorney can resolve even the most difficult issues concerning custody, child support, alimony and property division. She has been practicing collaborative divorce law since 2004 when she received her initial training. She is a member of Connecticut Council for Non-Adversarial Divorce and a founding member of Connecticut Collaborative Divorce Lawyers, now Connecticut Collaborative Divorce Group.