8/11/2014. Nuts, Bolts and Myths of Collaborative Divorce Practice. Is This Collaborative Thing Even Real?

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1 Is This Thing Even Real? Nuts, Bolts and Myths of Divorce Practice Holly J. Wanzer Wanzer Edwards, PC What is Law? Law is a case management technique for divorce cases It is one process in a menu of process options Kitchen table negotiations Mediation Litigation What is Law? Law is: Voluntary Participants must choose to engage in the process; Requires commitment and should not be court ordered or compelled Dispute Resolution Focused on arriving at solutions which meet the reasonable needs and interests of participants Focused on transitioning a family Without Court Eliminates any third-party decision maker Encourages creative problem solving outside the framework of statutes and court rules 1

2 Core Requirements Process Agreement Written contract defining process Parties must agree to core principles Specifies the scope of attorney participation Requires attorney withdrawal if process breaks down Core Requirements Voluntary Disclosure of Material Information Replaces formal discovery Information gathering is assigned to parties as homework Proactive and not reactive process Core Requirements Mutually Acceptable Solutions Win/win paradigm Solutions can meet participants human needs and interests Solutions can be individually tailored 2

3 Structured Process Each meeting has an agenda Each meeting results in minutes Surprise is reduced or eliminated Real issues and concerns can be addressed in an organized way Business-like Private and Confidential No public courtroom No subpoena to workplace No angry Greek Chorus (or less of it) Structured and focused settlement negotiations Participant Driven Not subject to court schedules Not constrained by statutes and case law, but can be more creative Not focused entirely on substantive issues Emotional Interests Relationship Interests Process Interests Substantive Interests 3

4 Team Oriented Attorneys are not enemies Other party not enemy Outside experts are shared Financial Experts Child Specialists Divorce Coaches Less Expensive Litigated Case House Value Two appraisals ($500 each): $1, Appraiser testimony cost: $ Billable Time for Attorney A 0.2 Review appraisals 0.5 Discuss issue with client 3.5 Prepare for and attend hearing $1, Billable Time for Attorney B 0.2 Review appraisals 0.5 Discuss issue with client 3.5 Prepare for and attend hearing $1, Case House Value One appraisal: $ Billable Time for Attorney A 0.2 Discuss appraisal in meeting $50.00 Billable Time for Attorney B 0.2 Discuss appraisal in meeting $50.00 Total Cost: $ Total Cost: $3, a Lawyer Want to Practice Law? Control of your schedule Positive focus of process Satisfied clients Referrals Get paid! 4

5 Is it Ethical? ABA Formal Opinion Permissible limited scope representation Client must give informed consent to participate Use a specific client agreement Educate client about menu of options and ensure that client is consenting File a limited appearance Myths About You must abandon your litigation practice to do this This is just like mediation This is just a settlement conference This is unethical This will eliminate business for lawyers This is new fangled is not just for divorce Post decree modifications Paternity Same sex relationship property division and child issues 5

6 Interested? Get trained! Get educated! Central Indiana Association of Professionals ( International Academy of Professionals ( November 6-7, 2014 CIACP sponsored training Spots are available! 6

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