“Collaborative” -- More than an adjective!
Oftentimes my clients are surprised to hear that “collaborative” is more than just an adjective describing the way I approach family law. Although I know some bulldog litigators who will say, “Well I also know how to be pretty collaborative...,” collaborative law is actually a very structured process that has been developed over the last 20+ years by lawyers around the country.
Collaborative lawyers and supporting professionals must meet specific training requirements and ethical duties. Washington even has a (relatively new) statute governing collaborative law -- the Uniform Collaborative Law Act, codified at RCW 7.77. (Thanks, Drew Hansen and other legislators!) And our professional organization, the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, has thousands of members around the world working hard to improve the services offered to support families going through divorce.
I saw this good article today in the Tampa Bay Times describing a new Florida law, similar to Washington’s, supporting collaborative divorce:
Some of my colleagues and I occasionally say (only half joking) that we’re trying to change the world one divorce at a time. Divorce happens. But collateral damage can be minimized, and healthy ways of relating post-divorce can in fact grow -- particularly through a thoughtful process supported by collaborative (not just an adjective!) professionals.
For information on some of the other professionals I work with, check out our practice group's website: www.WACollaborativeDivorce.com.