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As a skilled Ventura County Collaborative divorce attorney, I am proud to offer my clients creative methods for resolving their conflicts.  One such method is Collaborative Divorce.  Collaborative divorce is an alternative to the traditional adversarial court-focused divorce process.  Using an interdisciplinary team approach that promotes civility and respect, Collaborative Divorce empowers clients to develop innovative solutions to their custody, support, and property questions. Another method is Cooperative Divorce which

What is collaborative divorce?

Collaborative Divorce is a process which provides a couple the support to resolve their divorce issues through use of an interdisciplinary team of professionals and requires a pledge not to go to court. Frequently the term “no court divorce” is used.

As a Collaborative Team Lawyer, I work with a team consisting of a Coach and Financial Professional to provide my client with educational materials including a financial report and guidance through complex financial materials.  The client then has the tools he or she needs to evaluate settlement options and reach agreements that are in his or her best interests.

Ten characteristics of collaborative divorce

  1. Collaborative Divorce is a client-centered, non-adversarial process.
  2. It emphasizes a pledge not to go to court.
  3. A team based process—your team members are available in “real time” when you need them.
  4. Collaborative Team Lawyers remain obligated to provide informed legal consent to his or her client and to explain legal rights and responsibilities.
  5. Team members may also include divorce Coaches, Financial Professionals, Child Specialists, and others.  The parties engage whatever experts are needed for their particular situation.
  6. Team members may propose and guide you to evaluate potential solutions, but will allow you and your spouse the freedom to decide how to resolve your case.
  7. Emphasizes education and supports both parties becoming fully informed on all issues from financial planning to parenting.
  8. Allows you to manage time effectively and is typically more cost effective than traditional divorce.  Meetings are scheduled with your availability in mind.  There is no waiting to get a court date.
  9. Is private.  No personal matters need be revealed in open court.

How collaborative divorce works

The parties, supported by Collaborative Team Lawyers, get together in a series of roundtable meetings with every team member working towards a resolution. Each client may have a coach, typically a mental health professional, who works separately with him or her to help identify the client’s goals, reflect on his/her behaviors that help or hinder reaching a goal, challenges thinking, helps the client find his or her voice, and helps manage the stress and emotions of divorce.

Ventura County Collaborative divorce attorney

Is collaborative divorce right for you?

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you want to avoid the expense and delay of court mandated hearings and trials?
  • Do you want to keep details of your private life private?
  • Do you want to resolve your divorce in a civil manner and avoid the winner-loser mentality of litigation and all the stress, anger, and bitterness that can go with it?
  • Do you want to have a say in your divorce, rather than hand over decisions to a judge who does not know you, your spouse, or your children?
  • Do you want expert guidance on achieving a mutually satisfactory property settlement?
  • Do you want expert guidance on developing a parenting plan?
  • Do you prefer to be supported by a team of experts whom you hire only when you need them?

If this sounds like what you want, then you may be a candidate for this type of divorce.

Cooperative Divorce or Lawyer-to-Lawyer Negotiation Process

Another option exists for those clients who wish to keep their divorce process out-of-court, yet they choose not to disqualify their Collaborative Team Lawyers in case the settlement falls apart. This option is sometimes called a “Cooperative Divorce” and is not vastly different from a lawyer to lawyer negotiation.

In a Cooperative or Lawyer-to Lawyer Negotiated Divorce, the parties express a commitment to keep the matter out of court, but realizing that they may not want to start all over again with trial lawyers, opt to reserve the right to keep the Collaborative Team Lawyers on board in case they need to go to Court. This is not a pure Collaborative model since the attorneys may not be incentivized to settle the case, knowing that the courthouse is available and additional fees could be generated if the matter goes to trial. If you are not certain which process is the best fit for you, please call me so we can explore this further.

Contact us for Your Initial Strategy Session*
*Consultation granted based on appropriate qualification determined by Lead Counsel

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Hello, I'm Lisa Zonder

Are you ready to take action on your divorce, or just want to talk about it with an expert? 

Consider a “get to know us” introductory session. I’m happy to review your situation, answer your questions, and discuss case strategy. 

Certified Family Law Specialist since 1999.
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