What is collaborative practice?
Collaborative practice is a voluntary, interdisciplinary negotiation process. Each party retains a specially-trained lawyer (and team of professionals where appropriate) to work together to seek settlements that are negotiated in joint meetings without the underlying threat of contested litigation.
The feature of the collaborative process is a four-way Participation Agreement, signed by both parties and their counsel, by which all agree that they will not use the courts at any time to seek a solution to problems that may arise. By eliminating the threat of litigation, the process seeks to provide each party a safe and confidential place to conduct a fully informed negotiation that will meet their needs.
Parties must commit to maintain open communication and information sharing and to create shared solutions. They may work with financial professionals, negotiation coaches, mediators, child professionals or other experts to achieve informed outcomes and overcome impasse.
If the parties are unable to reach a settlement, each lawyer-client relationship will terminate and either party may pursue other alternatives.
Like all FDR processes, collaborative practice is not necessarily the best process for every person. Careful screening for suitability is essential before FDR professionals enter into process agreements with parties.
What does the FDRIO collaborative practice section do?
Our many collaborative professional members contribute to the on-going dialogue within the FDR field about appropriate standards for training, screening for power imbalances and family violence, ethical conduct and relationship with other processes. Although FDRIO does not anticipate designing a certification for collaborative practice at this time, our collaborative professional members enjoy opportunities to contribute to the evolution of the field through our conference, FDRweek and webinar events.
We hope to hear from you!