Do I need a Nashville collaborative law attorney?
Do I need a nashville collaborative law attorney?

  Posted on September 21, 2023
road signs showing uncertainty

A potential client came into my Brentwood, TN office today and asked me if she needed a collaborative law attorney.  My answer was, "What is a collaborative law attorney?".  She looked confused and replied, "I don't know.  I read an article on the internet and it mentioned collaborative law.  What is collaborative law?"

My answer to her had a few layers... I explained divorce is 45% emotions, 45% finance and 10% law.  So, anyone considering divorce first needs to address their mental state.  Next, they need to understand their financial reality.  This typically involves creating a complete list of assets and debts and a detailed monthly expense worksheet.  The final step in divorce is to get legal advice.  Any experienced divorce attorney can provide legal advice and since legal issues are only 5 - 10% of most divorces, those divorcing should not stress over the attorney.  Focus on the finances if you want to get a smart divorce.

I also mentioned, "You have to be careful about terminology".  Is a collaborative law attorney an attorney who collaborates with other attorneys (as litigation attorney often do) or, does a collaborative law attorney collaborate with the clients?  Or, is a collaborative law attorney an attorney who has taken training in the practice of collaborative law?  These classes focus on teaching attorneys how to work with other attorneys to create divorce settlements without going to court.  Since less than 5% of divorce cases actually go to court, I find the focus of collaborative law training to be confusing.  Why take training classes to teach you how to keep your cases out of court when only 5% of divorce cases actually go to court???

There is an awful lot of confusing terminology in the divorce market.  I told the prospective client that since the emotions and finances are 90% of a divorce, they would be well served if they focused on those two areas.  I suggested she needed to collaborate with her spouse and create a settlement that was right for their family.  She agreed the collaboration needs to be between the spouses and by working together she feels they can create a settlement that is right for their family and fair for their situation.  My reply was, "BRAVO!"

Posted in: Finances