Committed Partners who choose to separate through divorce or otherwise have an option that avoids the long-term emotional damage to family members, anxiety, and expense of litigation. The option is collaborative law.
Fiery and explosive scenes in a divorce court make for great cinema, but they most often are counterproductive to helping individuals move forward after their marriage falls apart.
Achieve Your Goals Without Litigation
Collaborative law allows both parties to work through their separation terms outside a Utah courtroom. This method offers many benefits.
History of Collaborative Law
The leading goal of collaborative law is to help partners determine what will work best for them without having to go to court. The idea for this method originated in Minnesota in 1990.
The collaborative approach began to spread in other areas of the country, leading to the Uniform Collaborative Law Act in 2009 and amended in 2010. Utah was an early adopter of collaborative law, passing its version of the UCLA in 2010. About half of the states in the U.S. have a UCLA.
The Collaborative Law Process in Utah
Two collaboratively trained lawyers guide two partners or parents who are divorcing or separating to create an agreement without the need for litigation. Each spouse has a collaborative attorney to negotiate their client’s best interests and provide them with legal advice along the way. One of the first tasks for a collaborative lawyer is to ask the right questions to help the client think through their primary goals and greatest concerns.
When Additional Experts Are Needed
Many Utah divorce or separation agreements can be ironed out without anyone else other than the partners and their collaborative attorneys. This method does, however, allow other professionals to be utilized when necessary. A mental health professional can be extremely helpful in toning down the rhetoric of the parties.
An expert in business valuation might be needed. The input of a child psychologist might be helpful in understanding the needs of the parents’ children. Accountants, real estate appraisers, and other professionals who have been collaboratively trained can also be brought into the team depending on the complexities of the case.
Collaborative law can be used to determine all aspects of a divorce or separation agreement:
Collaborative Agreements Are Binding
If a deal is reached through the collaborative process, the agreement can be entered in court and signed by a judge. After reviewing the agreement, the judge typically signs a final order. The agreement is then binding and enforceable, just like a court verdict.
Why Pursue Collaborative Law?
The benefits of collaborative law include the following:
- The process is generally faster than litigation because you are not beholden to the court’s schedule/docket.
- The process can be less costly because collaborative law does not require the legal motions, preparation for trial, constant consultation, participation in discovery, the trial itself, and an appeal (if necessary).
- The resulting agreement can creatively meet the needs of the couple (and any minor children) instead of being boxed into more standard decisions by a judge.
- The resulting agreement eliminates the anxiety and uncertainty of having a trial and not knowing how the judge will rule.
- The resulting agreement typically enjoys better compliance because both spouses created their own resolution.
- The collaborative process does not leave spouses feeling as if one “lost” and the other “won.”
- The collaborative process helps parents co-parent better going forward by eliminating mudslinging during the litigation process.
Litigation Remains an Option
The collaborative process is not foolproof. If an agreement cannot be reached, the couple has the option to take their case to trial. The attorneys representing the two sides in the collaborative process must withdraw from the case. They cannot represent either party in a pending court action.
The case essentially starts over with different attorneys. All communications between the collaborative team will remain confidential and may not be used in a pending suit. However, if money is an issue, the parties can elect to end the collaborative process at any time
Experienced Collaboratively Trained Legal Counsel in Utah
Not all attorneys have been trained in the collaborative process. At Ted Weckel, Attorney at Law, we have the experience, training, and know-how to use collaborative law to move our clients into the next chapter of their life. Ted is strategic and compassionate, a combination appreciated by our clients.
Ted is a member of the International Association of Collaborative Professionals and the organization’s Utah chapter. Ted knows other collaboratively trained lawyers and professionals in Utah who can help resolve your legal matter amicably.
Avoid the heartache, stress, and anger frequently associated with the litigation process. Schedule a consultation to learn if collaborative law is right for your divorce or separation. Contact us online or call (801) 845-9029 to begin.
I will be forever grateful to him.Cathleen M.
Very creative in helping me solve my legal problems.Richard S.
I am very pleased with his performance.Richard C.
Why Experience Matters
Having been a member of the bar since 1991, Ted has expertise in divorce, child custody, or alimony modification is needed to protect your rights and quality of life. Judges and opposing attorneys in Utah are more persuaded by a lawyer who exhibits knowledge of the law, preparation, and respect.
A Zealous Advocate
As a professional family law attorney in Salt Lake City, Ted is knowledgeable, collaborative and personable. He is a zealous advocate for his clients with a great deal of successful courtroom and mediation experience. We understand that expertise and integrity is key.
Practicing Law Since 1991
Hundreds of Successful Mediations or Verdicts
Prepares an In-Depth Strategy for Every Case
18 Published Appellate Opinions
6 Years Experience as a Judge Pro Tempore
Since 1993, our team at Ted Weckel, Attorney at Law has been helping clients throughout Salt Lake City and the surrounding areas resolve their family law problems. We can help you, too. To speak with our knowledgeable attorney, reach out to our firm and schedule a consultation. You can rely on us for well-informed advice and strong representation.