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Kathryn A. Gilbert, Esq.

With a collaborative law divorce you create opportunities for an amicable divorce, where low cost strategies are made possible through inexpensive family law divorce advice, effective consultation time, and finally a plan to create a no fight divorce resolution for all parties involved. Regardless of your situation, it is possible to reach an agreement that is in accord with your family values, preserves both parties relationship with the children involved in the situation, and often, even with each other, long after your divorce is final.

There are many benefits to a collaborative divorce. First, a collaborative attorney can help you obtain an inexpensive fast divorce, where you and your partner achieve a long lasting, mutually agreeable and affordable resolution that is a product of your own decisions. In addition, when working with a collaborative attorney, all of your meetings are private and confidential, as opposed to traditional divorce litigation where all documents are public records available to your children, nosy neighbors, gossip websites, and more.

While involved in a collaborative divorce you are still represented by your own attorney, yet the process is non-adversarial and less expensive than traditional litigation. You spend your time resolving the issues instead of paying your lawyer to sit around a courthouse waiting for your matter to be heard. After all, do you really want to spend your children's college tuition money and delay your retirement just so you can afford a high-priced lawyer to "beat up" on your spouse?

Pros & Cons Of A Collaborative Divorce

  • It enables the divorcing couple, not a judge, to determine the terms of the divorce.
  • It encourages mutual respect.
  • It focuses on the needs of the children.
  • It keeps private information out of the public domain, unlike in a traditional divorce.
  • It usually costs less and takes less time than a traditional divorce.
  • It is not for everyone, particularly parties unwilling to negotiate.
  • If a settlement cannot be reached, the couple's attorneys are required to withdraw from the case, and the parties would need to hire new attorneys to bring their case to court.
How it Works:

First, both spouses meet with their respective Collaborative attorneys to discuss individual needs and concerns. Then, the couple and their attorneys meet in a series of four-way sessions to reach a settlement without involving the court. Every issue - including property division, parenting time allocation, and financial support - are discussed in these sessions. At times, on an as needed basis, other professionals including Mental Health Professionals and Financial Experts may become part of the "team" to assist couples in reaching amicable resolutions. Divorcing parties benefit from the skills, advice, and support of attorneys and other professionals experienced in the collaborative process while striving to work things out in a positive, future-focused manner. When a settlement is reached, attorneys file the appropriate paperwork required by the court, and the divorce is then finalized on an uncontested basis.

In the event the parties are unable to arrive at a settlement through the Collaborative Law Process, the lawyers withdraw from the case and the parties are free to retain trial attorneys to pursue their matter in court. The requirement that all lawyers be disqualified in the event of a breakdown guarantees that all participating counsel and the litigants will be totally motivated and committed to ensure that the process is successful. Thus, all participants are equally devoted to crafting the solutions to all of the outstanding issues. The manner in which the negotiation process takes place is positively affected by the certainty that lawyers will never litigate the case. Openness, candor, and cooperation replace guardedness, secrecy, and threats as the techniques most likely to achieve ultimate success. Walking out in anger, or provoking the other side to, ceases to be a viable tactic.

Kathryn A. Gilbert with offices in Bergen County, New Jersey, is one of NJ's highest qualified divorce attorneys, mediators, and collaborative law professionals, with more than 2 decades of solid litigation and mediation experience and a dedication to her promise to explore and respect every aspect of your case with personalized attention and an aggressive representation plan. She will provide caring, effective divorce advice including preparing settlement agreements; creating a roadmap for prenuptial agreements, spousal support; child custody, and child support issues for clients across Bergen County, New Jersey.

She can be contacted by phone at 201-487-0900 or
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