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What is Collaborative Practice? - Alternative Dispute Resolution News

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Alternative Dispute Resolution News


Posted on: Nov 9, 2017

There is a growing movement among family law practioners to use collaborative practice for handling marriage dissolutions. It also has applications for resolving trust and estate disputes, as well as other civil law matters. What is collaborative practice? The International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (www.collaborativepractice.com) describes it as follows:

Collaborative practice is a voluntary dispute resolution process in which parties settle without resort to litigation. In collaborative practice:

  1. The parties sign a collaborative participation agreement describing the nature and scope of the matter;
  2. The parties voluntarily disclose all information which is relevant and material to the matter that must be decided;
  3. The parties agree to use good faith efforts in their negotiations to reach a mutually acceptable settlement;
  4. Each party must be represented by a lawyer whose representation terminates upon the undertaking of any contested court proceeding;
  5. The parties may engage mental health and financial professionals whose engagement terminates upon the undertaking of any contested court proceeding; and
  6. The parties may jointly engage other experts as needed.


In collaborative practice, core elements form your commitments to this process, which are to:

  • Negotiate a mutually acceptable resolution without having courts decide issues.
  • Maintain open communication and information sharing.
  • Create shared solutions acknowledging the highest priorities of all.


This article was submitted by Ellen M. Deeter, Dale & Eke PC. If you would like to submit content or write an article for the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section, please email Kara Sikorski at ksikorski@indybar.org.

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