If I use the Collaborative process where the lawyers work together and not adversarially, how will I know my lawyer has my back?
You and your attorney have an independent relationship, covered by attorney client privilege, so your attorney certainly has your back. The Collaborative process depends on both sides working well together to create a durable and fair agreement for each of their clients. There's also an ethical duty to represent clients in the best way possible.
What if there is something that I did during my marriage I'm not proud of? Can I still participate in a Collaborative process?
Yes. Nobody's perfect. Even though something may have occurred in your past that you may be uncomfortable with, the Collaborative process can help you come to terms with whatever it was and move you forward in a positive direction.
Are there any rules and standards around Collaborative Law?
Yes. Collaborative Law is governed by the Uniform Collaborative Law and Rules Act. In Washington State, it is specifically codified in the Revised Code of Washington Section 7.77. There is also the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP) that develops standards and supports Collaborative practitioners worldwide.
Does a Collaborative attorney have the same credentials as a traditional lawyer?
Yes. All attorneys representing clients must be in good standing with their local bar associations. Collaborative Law is an additional specialty area of practice that requires training, continuing education and participation in local practice groups, to name a few requirements.
What is the #1 benefit to staying out of court for my divorce?
For many, the ability to stay in control of the process without a judge or commissioner ordering them what to do is a primary benefit.
If I stay out of court for my divorce, is the agreement enforceable if something goes sideways later or if we want to change the terms?
Yes. The divorce decree and other terms are either filed with the court or filed privately and are fully legally enforceable. It’s just that the court didn’t mandate the terms of the agreements – you did.
What if my spouse wants to go to court?
When there is no ‘partner in peace’ in a divorce, you can still proceed with integrity and respect from your side. I represent people in very contentious litigation cases and clients benefit from the balanced approach that coaching skills provide in addition to legal acumen.
What if we don't want to hire two separate lawyers to help with our divorce?
You may hire me for coaching, facilitation and mediation services that can support you in creating agreements without needing to hire me as your lawyer.
What does coaching in the context of getting a divorce look like?
It can look different depending on your individual and couple needs. Some people just need a guide to direct them to the appropriate resources, provide templates for different forms, provide ideas about how to approach decision making and help identify the best approaches in thinking about asset division, child residential schedules and future implications.
When would coaching be right for me?
If you have a ‘partner in peace’, if there is high level of trust and ability to communicate with your partner, if your assets and debts are fairly simple and you both feel secure in your ability to handle the paperwork.
How are coaching skills relevant to lawyering skills?
My extensive training and experience in life coaching enables me to give you a stronger foundation and prepares you to make authentic and powerful choices during a time of upheaval and transition.