Defining Cooperative Law

Family law attorneys have named a process that many of us already utilize.  It differs from collaborative law in several ways. I thought many of you would be interested in learning more about the process.  The following is from the Cooperative Law Process Information Sheet:

The Cooperative Law Process 

An open and voluntary process; no special training or organization to join. All that is necessary is a Participation Agreement between the parties. 

The Participation Agreement

The participation agreement is premised on the buy-in of the participants into certain principles: 

  • good faith negotiations; 
  • reasonable efforts to settle the case; 
  • participate with respect and civility; 
  • disclose all relevant information; 

The Participation Agreement requires certain open strategies for the discovery of information and development of equitable resolutions: 

  • joint neutral experts when such assistance is necessary; 
  • verifiable information necessary to assess economic issues 
  • a 20-day “cooling off” period before going to litigation process  unless there is an emergency or agreement. 
  • bifurcation of litigation to specific issues the parties have been unable to resolve through the cooperative law process. 

With the cooperative law process, there is no “disqualification requirement” in the event litigation is necessary. In other words, if litigation is necessary, the parties can continue to work with the attorneys who already know them and know their needs.  In the Collaborative process, in the event of litigation the parties would have to obtain new representation. 

If you are interested in having your divorce handled in the cooperative law process, please contact the attorneys at Mundahl Law, PLLC

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