Collaborative Law

Ruggiero & Associates, P.C. is a proponent of this emerging method of dispute resolution. In essence, the collaborative process requires both parties and both of their attorneys to commit in writing that if the case does not settle amicably, the attorneys will both have to withdraw from representation before the parties take the matter to trial. Stated simply, a lawyer that agrees to the collaborative process can not earn trial fees in that particular case. Stated differently, the collaborative attorneys lose their respective clients to competitor divorce attorneys if settlement can not be reached. Since there is a natural incentive to keep a good client, this process theoretically motivates both attorneys to be part of the collaborative solution, not the competitive dissolution. For this process to work, it also takes total cooperation of the parties. For example, if, despite the attorneys' best efforts, one spouse insists on alienating the other spouse from the children, or the other spouse refuses to disclose all marital assets or income or to accept fair settlement suggestions, trial would seem inevitable. Similarly, if one or both of the attorneys do not negotiate in good faith and/or fail to have a similar sense of fairness and understanding as to how a judge would resolve the issues involved in that particular case, trial would also seem inevitable.

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