Valerie J. Botter

Creative solutions for family transitions.

Collaborative Divorce

Valerie Botter’s practice has always been oriented toward collaborative law, a process where disputing parties find common ground and engage in a peaceful (yet often challenging) process to settle their differences without Court resolution. Valerie was formally trained as a collaborative lawyer in 2006, although the concepts and orientation expressed during that training was nothing new for Valerie.

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. Even without the formal agreement, however, now that Valerie no longer represents clients in contested court proceedings (except in the FRSC), Valerie’s legal representation services are now all collaborative.

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.