Litigation means disputes are resolved in court by a judge. A person can go to court without an attorney, but the judge is required to treat an unrepresented party as if they know the law. A party can hire an attorney to handle the entire case from the beginning to the end or an attorney can be hired to provide "Limited Scope Representation" where the party and the lawyer define exactly what services the attorney will provide. April represents people in court in Placer County.
In mediation, a neutral, impartial mediator helps people reach an agreement outside of court and prepares the paperwork required by the legal system. People who choose to mediate their family law matter may define what services they want help with.
Collaborative practice is a team approach to the resolution of family matters outside of court. It is a flexible, private process like mediation, but in Collaborative the right professional assists the parties with the issues that have arisen in their family.
Each party has an attorney to advise and assist them through the legal and technical aspects of the entire process.
Each party also has a coach who is a mental health professional who has special training in family-based legal matters. Coaches guide parties through the personal and emotional aspects of the process and may assist the parties to communicate with each other effectively as they resolve their issues. If children are involved, the coaches help the parents address issues related to the care of the children in two households. While many family law attorneys have a lot of experience dealing with the emotional and personal aspects of a divorce, they rarely have the expertise of a mental health professional and their hourly fees are considerably higher than the fees of a coach.
A neutral financial specialist helps the parties gather the information that is needed to address property and support issues that are addressed in most family law cases. While family law attorneys have experience dealing with property and financial matters, having one neutral financial professional assist the parties in gathering information and planning for the next phase of their lives makes more sense and is much more economical than having two attorneys doing that work separately at a higher hourly fee.
April can answer all your questions about which type of process fits your needs.
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