Divorce is often viewed as an acrimonious battle between the spouses, each trying to win the argument over the other in a court of law. While some divorce proceedings do take place in front of a judge, there is a simpler and more amicable alternative known as collaborative divorce.
As compared to traditional divorces, collaborative divorces offer a more cost-effective, cordial and less time-consuming approach for couples looking to end their marriage. As such, many couples opt to dissolve their marital union by taking the help of a collaborative divorce lawyer.
At Garwood Reeves, we are a team of experienced San Diego Collaborative divorce attorneys who help our clients obtain a favorable outcome from their collaborative divorce.
What is Collaborative Divorce?
As the name suggests, collaborative divorce is a non-adversarial process that enables couples to reach a divorce settlement with minimum conflict. It is essentially a type of across-the-table meeting between the spouses and their collaborative divorce attorneys.
Traditional divorce proceedings take place within a courtroom and involve a lot of ugly mud-slinging and fights that can leave a bad taste in your mouth. On the flip side, San Diego collaborative divorce lawyers focus on constructive communication and mutual cooperation to reach a settlement without going to court.
Collaborative divorce combines negotiation and mediation to define the terms of divorce without litigation or court proceedings. Couples negotiate important terms of settlement such as property division, child custody, alimony, child support and division of debt with mutual agreement. The process is more private and confidential in nature and focuses on treating all parties involved with equal respect and dignity.
If the couple is willing to work together towards a common resolution, then taking the collaborative divorce route can save you a lot of time and money. San Diego collaborative divorce lawyers take a client-focused approach to designing a settlement that upholds the best interests of the parties involved.
Why Choose Garwood Reeves for Collaborative Divorce?
Getting a divorce from your spouse can be an emotional and draining proposition. The idea of battling for your rights, with someone you are in conflict with, does not conjure up a very pleasant picture in your mind.
At Garwood Reeves, we understand what you are going through and are here to use our legal expertise to take the edge off this painstaking process. Our firm is led by Julia Garwood, a Certified Family Law Specialist (CFLS), who has been in the legal profession since 1981. Ms. Garwood has been awarded the prestigious certificate because she meets the rigorous standards set by the California State Bar for her experience, knowledge and education in the field of family law.
A member of the San Diego County Bar Association (SDCBA) for over three decades, Ms. Garwood has served on the Executive Committee for Family Law Specialists since 2000.
Our Collaborative Divorce Process
Our San Diego collaborative divorce lawyers believe in helping our clients sail through the entire legal process with our continued assistance. Here is a step-by-step description of the process our San Diego collaborative divorce lawyers at Garwood Reeves follow:
Initial Consultation and Assessment
We initiate the collaborative divorce process by having a private consultation and assessment with the client. In this meeting, we will talk about your take on divorce-related issues such as property division, child support, alimony, child custody, and so on. The meeting helps us better understand your expectations from the divorce settlement and the kind of negotiation you are looking for.
Formation of Collaborative Teams
Based on your inputs, we will set up a team of collaborative divorce attorneys, financial experts, mental health professionals and counsellors, to provide you with adequate legal representation.
Identification of Shared Goals and Interests
The next step is to identify any shared goals and interests that might make it easier for you to negotiate the terms of the divorce settlement.
Option to Involve Child Specialists for Parenting Arrangements
If you have any children, we’ll give you the option to involve dedicated child specialists who can help set up parenting arrangements while maintaining the well-being of the child.
Transparent Exchange of Information and Financial Disclosures
At this stage, we engage in mutual exchange and disclosure of important aspects, such as finances, with the other party. The exchange of information done at this stage is imperative to decide on a fair and equitable settlement.
Joint Meetings to Negotiate Terms and Reach Agreements
Next, we’ll hold meetings with your spouse and his/her legal team to discuss and negotiate the terms of the divorce settlement. Our San Diego collaborative divorce lawyer will help you reach a common agreement with your spouse and finalize the collaborative divorce.
Our team of highly qualified collaborative divorce attorneys are well-versed in the nitty gritty of California family laws. We are committed to providing you with adequate legal representation while ensuring that we maintain control and have stronger decision-making power.
We understand the damaging effects of litigation on families. Our San Diego collaborative divorce lawyers strive to help couples undergo a peaceful and stress-free divorce while creating a win-win situation for all. We believe in becoming your close confidante and guiding you towards fair and sustainable solutions.
Benefits of Collaborative Divorce
The rising popularity of collaborative divorce across the country can be attributed to the several advantages it offers for the parties involved. In many ways, it serves as the most sensible approach for couples to dissolve their marriage. Let’s look at the major benefits of taking the collaborative divorce route:
Reduction of Stress and Emotional Strain for All Parties Involved
With no litigation involved, the couple is not obligated to play dirty just for the sake of winning arguments at any cost. San Diego collaborative divorce lawyers can help you avoid the stress and emotional strain of tedious court proceedings and reach an agreement with dignity.
Cost-Effectiveness Compared to Prolonged Litigation
The long-drawn court proceedings associated with traditional divorces can quickly burn a hole in your pocket. Collaborative divorces do not involve a lawsuit and can be settled out-of-court with minimal expenditure.
Faster Resolution and Reduced Court Involvement
Family law courts are always overflowing with lawsuits waiting to be dealt with. Traditional divorces involve a lengthy process wherein the parties need to file a petition in the court and then wait for a hearing to be scheduled. Given the contentious nature of divorce litigation’s, some cases take years to resolve. Collaborative divorces are settled outside the court and usually lead to a faster resolution.
San Diego collaborative divorce lawyers help you obtain a favorable divorce settlement based on mutual cooperation and respect. With minimum conflict involved, collaborative divorces are very effective in maintaining a certain level of civility between the separated spouses. This is especially important for couples who wish to co-parent their children after the divorce.
Customized Solutions That Cater to Individual Needs and Priorities
Given that collaborative divorces involve a lot of mutual discussion between the parties, it is easier to obtain an outcome that caters to their individual needs and priorities. Our San Diego collaborative divorce lawyers are skilled at providing customized legal solutions for couples who wish to resolve their marital disputes with a collaborative divorce.
Our Team of Collaborative Professionals
A family law attorney and mediator, Ms. Garwood is a Certified Family Law Specialist with over 30 years of experience in the industry. As an acting settlement judge and mediator, Ms. Garwood sees each case from many different perspectives, including a judge’s perspective.
Casey A. Reeves
Mr. Reeves is a Certified Family Law Specialist with comprehensive experience in litigation, discovery and evidence. He prides himself on his commitment to an open line of communication with his clients and recognizes the need to keep clients fully informed of all aspects of their cases.
A senior family law attorney, Frank Terrazas brings fourteen years of combined family law experience to Garwood Reeves. Gifted with an engaging personality, Frank has a unique background as a family law paralegal and attorney that makes him a tremendous asset to Garwood Reeves.
Emma Magidson Slattery
With over twelve years of family law experience, Emma Magidson Slattery has successfully litigated countless cases in all aspects of family law. Examples include move-away orders, child custody and support, spousal support, visitation, and high-income wage earners.
One of the newest additions to the Garwood Reeves family, Lia Lorick is experienced in handling various family law issues, including divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, restraining orders, and property division.
A Certified Family Law Specialist, Annie is an expert in mediation and helps parties resolve their family disputes without litigation. She has experience in handling issues like separation, estate division, spousal support, child custody, child support, and visitation.
Another new member in the Garwood Reeves family, Taylor has handled everything from custody disputes to property division, and everything in between.
Lauren has been a wonderful addition to the Garwood Reeves family since the summer of 2002 when she started as a post-bar clerk. Lauren holds a paralegal certification from California State San Marcos and has worked as a paralegal for an Estate Planning firm in Reno, Nevada.
Our San Diego collaborative divorce lawyers at Garwood Reeves follow a client-focused approach to achieving the desired objectives. We prioritize the goals and interests of our clients and devise the appropriate negotiation strategy accordingly.
At Garwood Reeves, our collaborative divorce attorneys understand that every marriage is different and so is every divorce. We believe in adapting the process to suit the unique circumstances of our clients and offer tailor-made solutions to them. Transparency is key in all divorce-related matters. We encourage open communication with our clients to better understand their individual expectations and interests.
FAQs About Collaborative Divorce
Will my legal interests be protected in a collaborative divorce?
Absolutely. San Diego collaborative divorce lawyers are qualified to handle collaborative divorce cases and are committed to protecting your legal rights and interests in the process.
Is collaborative divorce more expensive than traditional divorce?
No. It is a misconception that collaborative divorces are more expensive given the involvement of multiple experts such as attorneys, financial experts, and so on. However, you’ll end up paying a lot more in a traditional divorce, given the time and resources required to present and fight the lawsuit in prolonged court proceedings.
Do you have a question regarding collaborative divorce in California? Schedule a consultation with our San Diego collaborative divorce lawyers at Garwood Reeves today! [link to contact page]
Here are the testimonials of some of our clients that our San Diego collaborative divorce lawyers have helped obtain collaborative divorces in the past.
“I cannot thank Emma enough, as a friend and my attorney, for everything she has helped me with during my initial divorce proceedings and mediation. This includes any custody issues that continue to arise in the years that have followed. Emma’s compassion and knowledge have continued to be my saving grace when times are stressful. She knows the law, leads with integrity and truly has your best interest in mind at all times. Whenever I have questions she gets back to me promptly with answers and a course of action if needed. Emma is one of a kind and I’m so thankful to have her on my side!” – Kari Dunn
“Over the course of the last few years, I have consulted with and retained Casey Reeves for a few different family law matters. He has always been so helpful! He is extremely knowledgeable about the law and has always made me feel like he really cares about me and my situation. I’m glad I found Casey and this firm to help with these sensitive matters.” – Bena L.
Take the First Step Towards Collaborative Divorce
With decades of experience in family law, our San Diego collaborative divorce lawyers have acquired a comprehensive understanding of the legalities involved in the process. We believe in achieving outcomes that will allow you to quickly get back on your feet both financially and emotionally.If you or someone you know is looking for assistance in a collaborative divorce, then Garwood Reeves can provide you with the representation you need. Get in touch with us today!