Valerie J. Botter

Creative solutions for family transitions.

Collaborative Divorce

As a collaborative lawyer, Valerie Botter represents clients in a negotiated settlement process in which both parties and both attorneys are committed to resolving issues without Court involvement. Collaborative negotiation may resolve any of the practice areas listed under legal representation (e.g., divorce, custody, child support, alimony). Whether the issue is child-related or financial, a collaborative approach offers each party the benefit of legal representation within a highly motivated settlement context.

At the beginning of the collaborative process, the parties and attorneys sign a written agreement which establishes that in the unlikely event that settlement negotiations are unsuccessful, neither collaborative attorney can represent his or her collaborative client in any subsequent Court action. That agreement provides a powerful incentive to settle.

As with mediation, collaborative negotiation requires that both parties provide honest and complete disclosure of all financial matters as there is no opportunity for a Court process to discover financial information. Therefore, collaborative law may not be the right format to resolve a particular dispute if there is a concern about honesty and disclosure.

Collaborative lawyers have the training and experience to assist the parties through the negotiation process in a civil and efficient manner. When appropriate, allied professionals including therapists, financial planners, and accountants, can provide support, education, and guidance. Collaborative representation unites the best qualities of traditional legal representation and mediation, providing for individually tailored legal advice within a friendly, settlement-oriented process.

Email Valerie or call 413-586-8651.