For those who are looking to settle their divorce or family law matter in a private and friendly manner, many are likely to discover that there are collaborative practice groups in existence. Some may have no understanding of how these work. Is this like a law firm? Is this a business in the traditional sense? The answer to both of these questions are “no.” A collaborative practice group is a different animal.
According to the IACP, this is what a collaborative practice group is this:
“A Practice Group is an association of two or more professionals who have come together for purposes of enhancing their skills and understanding of Collaborative Practice, educating the public and promoting the use of the Collaborative process. Practice Groups are typically comprised of professionals who work the same geographic region and may be organized as formal legal entities or more loosely as professional associations. A law firm is not considered a Practice Group.”
Collaborative practice groups contain a fairly diverse group of professionals, from collaboratively trained lawyers, mental health and finance professionals. They all work together in a loose associate to promote and facilitate collaborative practice in a particular geographic area. Further, the reality is there are numerous practice groups around the United States. This is all part of nationwide effort to revolutionize the way divorce and family law matters with the hope of making divorce and family law matters more amicable and less acrimonious.
The reasons for the rise of collaborative practice are easy to understand. With lots of parties litigating their divorce, paternity or other family law matters, family court dockets are often clogged up. This means that it can take considerable time for a case to end. It is not atypical for a litigated case to last many months or even a year or more.
Who would also want to place the outcome of their case in the hands of a single judge? Who wants there to be hard feelings after the case is over such that co-parenting ends up being difficult, if not impossible? Most do not want this, which is why collaborative practice groups are on the rise nationwide.
It is true as well that while many try mediation, mediation is not binding. Thus, many go to mediation and cannot reach an agreement. This is where collaborative practice is really growing in prominence as another form of alternative dispute resolution for parties to consider. With the use of various professionals, it can sometimes have a greater likelihood of success than mediation.
If you are interested in a collaborative divorce, the Missouri Collaborative institute can help. You can contact us online today or give us a call.