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Collaborative Practice

A Non-Confrontational Court Alternative

Imagine a process in which you and your spouse or partner use specially trained lawyers who work together with each of you to negotiate a settlement to your divorce or post divorce issues, with full disclosure of finances, complete transparency, and a commitment to resolving the issues presented in your family fairly and with a minimum of conflict. Welcome to Collaborative Practice. Collaborative Practice is an exciting, relatively new alternative to both divorce litigation and mediation.

In a Collaborative Law case,  all negotiations occur in meetings with the parties, their lawyers, and a neutral, collaboratively trained coach-facilitator present. The  lawyers are there to protect the interests of his or her client, but also  are committed to assisting their client negotiate a fair resolution to their issues.  A neutral expert, such as a therapist for child related issues or a financial planner or  C.P.A.’s for financial issues is utilized if the parties need the additional expertise. The collaboratively trained lawyers and neutrals create and maintain an atmosphere in which you and your spouse or partner feel safe; while emotions can run high, control is maintained. And of course privacy is maintained.

Despite the addition of a neutral coach and other neutral professionals, Collaborative Practice can be less expensive than traditional litigation as the parties and their counsel work together to solve problems rather than use the court to seek maximize  advantage for their clients. Collaboratively trained lawyers strive to facilitate agreements that are fair to both sides, by helping clients articulate goals and generate options that best meet their interests. If there are minor children, although children are typically not represented by counsel, the lawyers and the coach, as well as, in the appropriate case the child therapist, strive to assist you and your spouse or partner in focusing on your children’s needs.

By being  intimately involved in every step of the negotiation, Collaborative Practice fosters a sense of ownership in the outcome  by you and your spouse instead of a feeling that a result has been imposed on you by the Court. Collaborative Practice can even lead to a relatively cordial, ongoing relationship between you and your spouse after the resolution of the case.

The Collaborative Law Approach

The collaborative law approach, also known as “collaborative process,” can require more work by you and your spouse or partner than traditional litigation. It may be much easier for clients toleave their problems at their lawyers’ doorstep to  to joust with each other,and  to bring all or most issues to court for the judge to render decisions that may not reflect the best result for your particular family.

Collaborative Practice is not for everyone, and in order to work in a particular case both you and your spouse or partner need to be open to and committed to working together to listen to and respond to each other’s concerns and treat each other fairly.

Here’s what you can expect in the collaborative law process:

  • Assistance in identifying the goals that are most important to you;
  • Identification, evaluation and selection of the options best suited  to meet your goals
  • Counseling as to whether those options would be acceptable to the Court;
  • Assisting you in hearing the goals most important to your spouse or partner;
  • Advocacy to assist you in achieving the goals most important to you;
  • Preparation of a comprehensive written Separation Agreement.

As a family law attorney with 27 years of experience in litigating and mediating cases, Attorney Sanford I. Furman is excited to offer Collaborative Practice to his clients. When you meet with Attorney Furman for a free initial consultation, he will discuss your situation with you and assist you in determining which approach would be best for you, traditional litigation, collaboratice practice, or mediation.

The Law Offices of Attorney Sanford I. Furman are conveniently located in Wellesley, Massachesusetts and Westborough, Massachusetts. He has over 30 years experience in helping people throughout  greater Boston, including Boston, Newton, and Wellesley, and the Metrowest areas of Framingham and Natick, as well as Worcester and Westborough. With the opening of a second office in Westborough Attorney Furman is please to offer more convenient services to clients in Westborough, Worcester, Southborough, Northborough and Marlborough. Sanford Furman brings his knowledge of divorce law, skills as a negotiator and training and experience as an educator and collaborative practitioner to the task of assisting couples focus both listening to each other and presenting their goals in a process geared towards finding solutions that both can live with as fair, within the parameters of Massachusetts divorce law.

His services can help you amicably resolve your issues related to:

Free Initial Consultation

Please contact the Law Office of Sanford I. Furman by phone or e-mail if you are interested in finding out more about collaborative practice. Mr. Furman will be happy to provide you with a free consultation and looks forward to explaining to you how mediation can benefit you. Evening and weekend meetings can be arranged by appointment in both the Wellesley and Westborough offices.