Collaborative Law


Why Collaborative?

Divorce is one of the most stressful of all life experiences. If you could lessen the pain, the fear, and the financial and emotional cost for you and your children wouldn’t you? Then collaborative law is for you. Assets are preserved. Children see that while their parents are no longer together, they can co- parent. Spouses are equipped emotionally and financially for what lies ahead of them post divorce. The dignity and privacy of the family is protected.

Collaborative law allows both parties to choose an attorney who will be their advisor and advocate. The parties and attorneys commit not to go to court. Instead, spouses and their attorneys agree to exchange financials and any required or necessary information to come to a fair, workable agreement. Next, financial and mental health specialists are brought in to help the parties arrive at a solution based plan. The attorneys and parties may decide to bring in a financial specialist to review and prepare budgets, discuss tax implications, debt, and how best to share assets and income. A divorce coach can help the parties communicate, facilitate meetings, and give support and direction to the parties as they deal with the emotional trauma of separation and feelings of guilt and betrayal. The coach can teach the parents new and better ways to communicate with their spouse and avoid old patterns and behaviors. If needed, a child specialist can help devise a parenting plan or help children who are having difficulty with the separation and changes the separation has caused in their lives.

There are no court appearances, exorbitant legal fees, or an adversarial nature where the focus is on winning rather than cooperation and finding solutions. Parties are not shut down but have a safe place to speak and be heard. In so doing the attorneys and specialists can discover what is really behind a certain position a spouse has taken and honor that in tailoring a unique agreement that works for your family.

When parties litigate, their time and energy is expended on making motions so the case is prepared and placed on the judge’s calendar. Information is not readily produced so attorneys spend time trying to obtain the required financial information. Then both attorneys independently review the materials rather than there being one financial specialist to the table to review both parties information together. One court appearance can take up to three and a half hours if there is a congested calendar. Each spouse pays attorneys on an hourly basis even if they are just sitting and waiting in court. If the parties cannot quickly agree on a parenting plan, an attorney is appointed for their children and a retainer will have to be paid to a third attorney. With three attorneys and an assigned Judge in the mix divorcing parties, are often lost and their voices are lost.

In mediation, parties do not have their own advocate as the mediator attempts to come to an agreement through compromise and discussions. There is no support or information from any outside experts to help you make decisions or come up with a financial parenting plan.

Contact Us

To schedule an attorney consultation: Call 718-351-3748 or fill out the contact form. Our law office is located on 94 Hancock Street in Dongan Hills, Staten Island, New York.

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The DePalo Law Firm has been accepted as a Participating Law Firm for Hyatt Legal Services, ARAG, Workplace Benefits, and the Legal Club of America.