Choosing a Collaborative Attorney
Ten Questions to ask…
. . .when considering a lawyer for your collaborative team.
1. Are you trained in Collaborative law? How long have you been working on Collaborative cases, and approximately how many cases have you been involved with? How long have you been working with family law cases?
2. Do you also represent clients in litigated cases or provide litigation support to non-Collaborative cases? If so, what percentage of your case load consists of Collaborative cases? [Working in a collaborative way is not the same as being collaboratively trained. Understanding the percentage of collaborative to litigated cases shows experience level in the true collaborative divorce model.]
3. How does your approach in a case that is proceeding under the Collaborative Law model differ from your approach in a litigated case?
4. On average, what is the total amount you charge in Collaborative cases? Is there anything that you know about my case now that would tend to make it more or less expensive than the average? Will you give me the option to do some things myself if it will save money? What are your hourly rates, and what is your retainer?
5. What do you see as the benefits of proceeding with Collaborative cases vs. a litigated case?
6. Can you name a few specific things I can do that will make my case go more smoothly?
7. Have you worked with my spouse’s lawyer in a Collaborative case before? What is your experience with him or her? OR Can you recommend Collaborative lawyers that my spouse can interview?
8. What do you expect from me? What documents do I need to produce?
9. Do all Collaborative cases settle? If not, why don’t they?
10. What outside resources do you recommend to people who are going through divorce?