Family Mediation Center

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Collaborative Practice

By Joy Borum, Mediator

Though no longer practicing law, Joy works with clients' lawyers, financial advisors, and mental health experts in all mediation cases where such professionals are involved, However, Joy also works with you and your professionals as a Collaborative Practice Mediator. If you and your lawyer are contemplating or have an agreement not to go to Court and, with or without other professional team members, are working harder than you prefer, Joy's experienced and artful mediation skills can help. As a Collaborative Practice mediator, Joy acts as the dispute resolution expert helping work through particularly thorny issues and seeming impasses. Joy's experience over decades working with thousands of clients enhances your opportunities to move forward.

The information below from the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals describes what Collaborative Practice is.



What is Collaborative Practice?

Collaborative Practice is a voluntary dispute resolution process in which parties settle without resort to litigation. In Collaborative Practice:

  1. The parties sign a collaborative participation agreement describing the nature and scope of the matter;
  2. The parties voluntarily disclose all information which is relevant and material to the matter that must be decided;
  3. The parties agree to use good faith efforts in their negotiations to reach a mutually acceptable settlement;
  4. Each party must be represented by a lawyer whose representation terminates upon the undertaking of any contested court proceeding;
  5. The parties may engage mental health and financial professionals whose engagement terminates upon the undertaking of any contested court proceeding; and
  6. The parties may jointly engage other experts as needed.

Collaborative Practice, including Collaborative Law and interdisciplinary Collaborative Divorce, is a new way for you to resolve disputes respectfully -- without going to court -- while working with trained professionals who are important to all areas of your life. The term incorporates all of the models developed since IACP's Minnesota lawyer Stu Webb created Collaborative Law ideas in the 1980s.

The heart of Collaborative Practice or Collaborative Divorce (also called "no-court divorce," "divorce with dignity," "peaceful divorce") is to offer you and your spouse or partner the support, protection, and guidance of your own lawyers without going to court. Additionally, Collaborative Divorce allows you the benefit of child and financial specialists, divorce coaches and other professionals all working together on your team.

In Collaborative Practice, core elements form your contractual commitments, which are to:

  • Negotiate a mutually acceptable settlement without having courts decide issues.
  • Maintain open communication and information sharing.
  • Create shared solutions acknowledging the highest priorities of all.