What is Collaborative Family Law?
COLLABORATIVE FAMILY LAW (CFL) is a dispute resolution process that is based upon the Ohio Collaborative Family Law Act (Ohio Revised Code Sections 3105.41 through 3105.54) which became effective on March 22, 2013. In summary, this new statutory process provides the following benefits for married couples who are able to co-operate in signing a COLLABORATIVE FAMILY LAW PARTICIPATION AGREEMENT:
- CFL is a dispute resolution process that enables divorcing spouses to restructure their family finances and parenting responsibilities using principled negotiations in a non-adversarial setting to complete a Dissolution of Marriage action, without any threat of litigation or judicial intervention.
- CFL is a dispute resolution process that is a relatively new non-adversarial approach to family restructuring that provides the parties with opportunities to “divorce with dignity and respect,” and to minimize the anger, alienation and loss of self-esteem that frequently result from adversarial, litigated “divorce as usual.”
- CFL is a dispute resolution process that provides divorcing spouses with the personal support and advice of experienced family lawyers, who have completed special training courses to develop skills in techniques that enable them to perform the dual roles of personal advocates for their separate clients, while at the same time they can function as non-adversarial, creative problem solvers to assist their clients in customizing the appropriate terms of a Separation Agreement and a Shared Parenting Plan.
- CFL is a dispute resolution process that provides INTERDISCIPLINARY TEAM support and facilitation services for the divorcing spouses and their Collaborative Family Lawyers by helping them manage any significant financial planning issues, emotional conflict or ineffective communication problems the team might encounter during the process. The most common types of additional professionals involved are a Neutral Finaancial Expert, a Neutral Divorce Coach to help the parties deal with the emotional and communication issues, and/or a Neutral Child Specialist, as needed to represent the interests of any children who might be exposed to parental conflict while the parents are negotiating the most appropriate terms of a Shared Parenting Plan.
- CFL is a dispute resolution process that focuses the entire efforts of the divorcing spouses and their collaborative family lawyers, plus any allied professionals involved, upon preparation for and negotiation of terms of settlement, and that treats litigation as a last resort type of alternative dispute resolution option.
- CFL is a dispute resolution process that, in most cases that are completed successfully, will reduce significantly the total combined expenses of divorcing spouses, when compared to the total combined expenses of both spouses in most litigated divorce cases.
- CFL is a dispute resolution process that creates a common interest for both of the collaborative family lawyers involved, because the divorcing spouses agree in writing that if the Collaborative Family Law Process fails for any reason, neither of the lawyers may represent either spouse in any subsequent litigation between the same spouses, and both spouses must retain new lawyers to represent them in a subsequent litigated divorce action.
- CFL is a dispute resolution process which provides a blanket PRIVILEGE applicable to all communications and actions by the parties and non-party professionals involved during the process, which insures that no one can be forced to testify regarding any such communications or actions in any subsequent litigation, in the event the CFL process breaks down and new trial lawyers are retained by the parties.
Robert N. Wistner, J.D., in Dublin, Ohio, represents clients throughout central Ohio, including the cities of Columbus, Dublin, Worthington, Powell, Hilliard, Westerville, Upper Arlington, Gahanna, Grandview Heights, Reynoldsburg, Whitehall, Bexley, Grove City, Delaware, Newark, Granville, Lancaster, Circleville, London, Plain City and Marysville. The firm serves all communities in Franklin County, Delaware County, Licking County, Pickaway County, Union County, Madison County and Fairfield County.