In a traditional divorce proceeding, you and your spouse may go to court to fight over the issues most important to you. Often it becomes a difficult and costly process that further complicates your transition into the single life. The judge does not know you and your spouse, yet this person will decide many important issues about your life. The outcome often does not reflect what is in the best interest of either party or their children, but it is the best that the judge can do with limited time available to fully understand all of the details of a case.
Attorneys Greta Hoffman Walker & Zach Smith are trained Collaborative Lawyers for divorce and custody issues. In a collaborative divorce or a collaborative custody matter, both parties and their counsel work together through a series of joint meetings to achieve a mutually beneficial agreement that is in the best interests of all concerned. Parties can avoid the bitterness and fighting involved in a traditional legal proceeding, and often times minimizes attorney fees.
Collaborative law is an ideal option for parties who want to achieve a good relationship after they separate, have open and cooperative communication about their child, and wish to retain control over the outcome of their case rather than allowing the Court to decide.
Collaborative law offers parties the following benefits over a traditional legal proceeding:
You and your spouse retain control over the entire process.
You can focus on the settlement without worrying about the threat of a long, bitter trial.
You will typically save a great deal of time and money compared to a case that requires extensive litigation.
You have the opportunity to negotiate an agreement that more closely represents the issues important to everyone in your family.
You provide an easier transition for your children at a very traumatic time in their lives.
The parties create an opportunity to maintain better lines of communication in the future, facilitating better parenting after the case.
You resolve your case with a greater degree of dignity and mutual respect.
In collaborative law, both parties are represented by an attorney. At the start of the process, both spouses and their attorneys sign a contract agreeing to resolve their case outside of court. The parties and their counsel attend joint meetings to openly share necessary information and negotiate a mutually beneficial settlement. Most cases involve 4 to 6 meetings, but each case is different. Some can settle quickly, and others may take much longer depending on the complexities involved.
Sometimes the parties struggle to reach agreement. When this happens, other collaborative professionals can be brought in to help reach settlement. Perhaps property needs to be appraised, or the parties need help with financial issues, or maybe they are struggling to agree upon a parenting schedule. In such instances, experts or counselors can be hired to assist both parties a neutral third party, or a mediator can be hired to further negotiations. Collaborative lawyers have many tools in their arsenal to help you reach agreement. In the unlikely circumstance that an agreement is not possible, both attorneys must withdraw from all future involvement in the case, and the parties are free to find new counsel to proceed to court.
The lawyers of Hoffman Walker & Knauf are committed to providing you with the best representation for all of your family’s legal needs by presenting you with as many options as possible. While all of the attorneys at Hoffman Walker & Knauf are able to represent you in any family law matter, only Greta Hoffman Walker and Zach Smith are certified as collaborative law attorneys, having taken extensive training and continued updates on the practice of collaborative law since 2004.
Zach Smith and Greta Walker serve the counties of Boone, Kenton, Campbell, Grant, and Gallatin. Call today to schedule a consultation at our Northern Kentucky office.