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What is a Collaborative Facilitator?

A Collaborative Facilitator has experience in issues related to separation, divorce and co-parenting after divorce. The facilitator has training and expertise in family dynamics, communication skills, mediation, and the collaborative law process.

This background enables the facilitator to help both members of a divorcing couple deal with the emotional and psychological challenges of their divorce. Although the facilitator may have therapeutic skills, the facilitator does not function as a therapist in this role.

What happens if a divorce settlement cannot be reached?

Even if the team is able to settle only some of the issues through the Collaborative process, the parties do have options. You can agree to submit the remaining issues to a Collaborative arbitration process or proceed to litigation with new counsel

In the event you decide to litigate the remaining issues your collaborative attorneys will remain involved until you have obtained new counsel.

In Collaborative Divorce do we have to do all the paperwork as in a litigated case?

Yes, the documents produced using the Collaborative model for your divorce meet all the requirements of the state of Colorado. The state requires that certain specific documents be filed regardless of the method used to resolve your divorce issues. Whether your case is resolved through the Collaborative process, mediation, arbitration, or litigation, the exact same documentation is required by the court. Your choice is to determine which resolution process is best suited for you and your family.

How is Divorce Maintenance calculated per the statute?

Maintenance during a pending divorce
Maintenance is the payment, usually made monthly, from one spouse to another. Maintenance was formerly known as alimony. Colorado’s divorce statute is no-fault and requires that maintenance be determined “without regard to marital misconduct.”

The court will consider temporary maintenance in Colorado, in cases where a couple’s combined gross annual income is under $75,000. The calculated payment uses 40% of the higher income earner’s gross monthly income minus 50% of the lower income earner’s gross monthly income. This gives the presumptive maintenance amount as long as the amount calculated amount is not more than 40% of the combined annual income of the parties. The court will then allocate the monthly expenses between the parties. For spouses where the combined gross annual income in over $75,000, the court may extrapolate from the calculated amount.

For maintenance that begins in 2019, the guideline amount of maintenance will be 75% of what it is under the 2018 guidelines, for couples earning a combined gross income of over $10,000 per month.

The guideline amount will be 80% of the 2018 amount for couples earning a combined gross of under  $10,000 per month.

Why do you say that a divorce is primarily an emotional event?

Collaborative professionals understand that separation and divorce are much more than just a legal process. It is an emotional and financial journey that includes a legal event as one step in a long process of reforming the family. The emotional journey of your divorce begins way before you tell your spouse and ends only after you are settled in your post- divorce life. If you have children it involves new ways of relating to your former spouse as co-parents.

Strong feelings of anger and grief about the end of the marriage are common. So are anxious thoughts about the future such as “Will I be okay?”, “Will our children be okay? These thoughts and feelings are normal as divorcing couples go through this transition. Nonetheless, they can and often do hinder the divorce process. For example, one spouse’s anger at the other spouse may prompt acting out in an effort to retaliate. Fear of the unknown may cause them to stall the process. Grief about what has been lost may hamper their ability to visualize and move toward a different future. Many people feel ruled by their emotions at this time that can keep them from making sound decisions.

Often spouses are in different stages of acceptance about the end of their marriage or partnership. One may be in denial that the divorce is even happening while the other may desire a quick resolution. They may blame each other. They may differ in how well they assert themselves and in their comfort with conflict. They may compete over who is the better parent. Any of these tendencies can cause friction and undermine their ability to act in the best interests of their (redefined) family moving forward.

What is the difference between litigation and collaboration?

Litigation

Collaboration

  • 1. Operates by assigning blame or fault and relies on coercion to obtain results
  • 1. Relies on problem solving and informed agreements
  • 2. Creates and atmosphere of intimidation and fear
  • 2. Provides a safe environment for the exchange of ideas and possible solutions
  • 3. Filters communications and negotiations by going through parties/attorneys using the “he said/she said” method of relaying information
  • 3. Employs face to face meetings with all parties and attorneys hearing the same information at the same time with the ability to instantly correct any misunderstandings
  • 4. Subjects parties to cross examinations, depositions, subpoenas, written discovery, and unwanted hearings
  • 4. Follows an agreed agenda with no surprises, demands or court appearances,
  • 5. Takes expenses out of your control and gives the other side the option of forcing you to spend money for depositions, hearings and unproductive discovery
  • 5. Allow the voluntary agreement of the parties to determine what documents and information are necessary to reach a resolution of the disputed matter
  • 6. Give the Court control over the scheduling of the case
  • 6. Gives the parties control of scheduling of all meetings and deadlines
  • 7. Provides a public record of all court hearings
  • 7. Employs private and confidential meetings
  • 8. Forces the attorneys to prepare for trial from the moment the case begins  – creating unnecessary expenses if the case settles
  • 8. Allows the attorneys to focus 100% of their time and talent – as well as their clients’ money – on discovering the optimal solution
  • 9. Requires each party to obtain at least one “hired gun” who must be willing to testify in support of that party’s claims in court if an expert is needed
  • 9. Provides for a jointly engaged expert who will never testify; thus saving money as well as giving to the greater selection of experts since some experts refuse cases which require a court appearance
  • 10. Promotes the abdication of responsibility for the resolution of the dispute by placing the task in the hands of the judge
  • 10. Takes control of the dispute and actively seeks resolution providing a greater likelihood that the parties will be satisfied with the result
  • 11. Imposes no duty to correct misunderstandings or mistakes that the party may rely on to his/her detriment
  • 11. Requires the parties/attorneys correct all misunderstandings and/or mistakes
  • 12. Requires no party to disclose any facts, documents or information unless specifically asked by another party
  • 12. Requires the full disclosure of facts, documents or other information has any bearing on the resolution of the dispute
  • 13. Creates and imbalance of power when one party has greater financial resources than the other parties
  • 13. Levels the playing field by giving all parties control over the choice of experts and financial expenditures
What can I expect from the Collaborative Divorce process?

What Collaborative Divorce is:

What Collaborative Divorce is not:

  • 1. Non-adversarial dispute resolution
  • 1. Conflict free dispute resolution
  • 2. Interest based negotiations focusing on underlying needs
  • 2. Positional bargaining
  • 3. Hard work for clients, attorney’s and team to shape the agreement to fit your needs
  • 3. The easy way out
  • 4. Efficient use of resources and professional expertise
  • 4. Inexpensive- attorneys and neutrals must be paid
  • 5. Clients learn problem-solving skills and may learn skills for resolution of future disputes
  • 5. Magic- problems and conflicts may still occur
  • 6. Moves at the pace of the slowest-moving client
  • 6. Faster than going to court
  • 7. A process that allows parents to have equal input in the process
  • 7. A way to manipulate the outcome for selfish motives
  • 8. A foundation for a healthy co-parenting relationship
  • 8. A perfect co-parenting relationship

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