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How to Get Started

 

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Share this information with your spouse.  Even though this may be a very difficult time for each of you, this is an opportunity for both of you to choose a constructive way to take care of the business of divorce.  And be sure to look over the standard documents:

Stipulation And Order For Collaborative Family Law Proceeding

Principles And Guidelines

 

 These documents and the other information on this site will give you a good idea of how the Collaborative Family Law process works.

 

If you each decide that you would like to consider resolving your case using the Collaborative Family Law process, you will each select, meet and consult with an attorney from the list of collaborative family lawyers on this site.  Click here to go directly to that list.

 

You and your lawyer will discuss how the Collaborative Family Law process would work in your situation and how it will differ from what you would experience in divorce litigation.  You and your lawyer will also examine various aspects of your case - for example, whether there are any needs that might benefit from prompt attention, how you and your spouse can best assemble the necessary financial information and your goals and your most significant concerns. Your spouse will go through the same process with the lawyer she or he selects.

 

The next step will be to arrange, through the lawyers offices, for the first 4-way (clients and lawyers) meeting, agree on an agenda and identify any material or information that would help to make the meeting as productive as possible.

 

At the first 4-way meeting, you, your spouse and your attorneys will sign the standard documents, if you haven't done so earlier.  The first meeting is usually devoted to discussing the individual and family goals that each of you have and working out any temporary arrangements on subjects that might be of concern to either of you.   By the end of the first meeting, you will have begun to identify the subjects that will be addressed in your agreement, the information that will be needed so that those subjects can be discussed intelligently and how best to obtain that information.  Most important of all, you and your spouse will have begun to see that progress is being made and that it is actually possible to achieve a constructive resolution of the difficult issues of divorce and to do so in a respectful environment.