One of Denver's Largest Family Law Firms Adds Collaborative Law Practice

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Collaborative Law offers a peaceful alternative to divorce litigation and two attorneys at The Harris Law firm have recently been trained in this unique family law technique.

Recognizing an opportunity to reduce the stress and cost of Colorado divorce, The Harris Law firm has specially trained two of its family law attorneys to offer Collaborative Law. Collaborative law allows individuals seeking a divorce to do so in a non-adversarial environment. By creating this healthy "divorce environment" at the outset, couples and their children experience less stress and disruption. Furthermore, using the Collaborative Law approach can reduce legal fees and speed up the process of getting divorced in Colorado. Despite the positive benefits, many Coloradans are unaware of this unique approach to divorce.

Rich Harris, founder and President of The Harris Law Firm, a 10 attorney family law firm in Denver, Colorado firmly believes in the kinder and gentler divorce process and wants to get the word out about Collaborative Law. "People need to be made aware of Collaborative Law. Knowing there is a better way, it pains me every time I see a family ripped apart in a lengthy and expensive divorce trial" said Mr. Harris. Mr., Harris maintains that as a family law attorney, part of his job is to ease the pain of divorce and separation not only for the spouses involved, but also for the children who are too often the innocent victims of vicious litigation. To achieve this end, Rich now has several attorneys at the firm who have been specially trained in the process of collaborative law.

The Advantages of Collaborative Law

Existing mid way between litigation and mediation, collaborative law is a form of alternative dispute resolution for couples going through a divorce. The collaborative process often creates more detailed agreements than would be issued by a judge, and when the spouses are committed to working together in a cooperative manner, this alternative process can offer a more cost effective alternative to litigation.

Although separate counsel represents each spouse, and the attorneys act as advocates for their clients, the collaborative process requires that both parties agree to settle their differences in a non-adversarial environment. In cases where the parties cannot reach an agreement, both attorneys are required to resign from the case, and the parties must hire new attorneys to bring the matter before the court.

To begin the collaborative divorce process, the spouses and their attorneys sign a "Participation Agreement" that requires the husband and wife to:

1. Disclose all financial information: Both parties will exchange all relevant documents regarding their finances.

2. Maintain confidentiality: The proceedings will remain private so that both parties can freely express their feelings.

3. Respect the parties involved: Both parties agree to behave in a respectful manner during the process.

4. Protect the children: All parties agree to safeguard the children from the divorce proceedings

5. Share outside professionals: The parties agree to implement and share the costs of outside specialists to consult on issues that include: finances, property, parenting, etc.

6. Create a written agreement: The spouses agree to create a written agreement on all issues pertaining to the family law matter.

7. Obtain a divorce decree: Both parties will authorize their lawyers to use

8. the written agreement to obtain a final court decree.

Collaborative law is also suitable for high profile divorcing couples who not only require experienced legal counsel and skilled advocacy, but who may also benefit by using a private and confidential approach. Using collaborative law, the parties never have to appear in court and thus their privacy is protected.

The Harris Law Firm is proud to be one of the largest family law firms in Colorado to have attorneys specially trained in the Collaborative Law process. Our Colorado Family law strategy uses collaborative law and encompasses all of the following: Colorado Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Parenting Plans, Maintenance (Alimony), and Legal Separation.

Contact Info:

Heidi Culbertson

Director of Business Development

The Harris Law Firm

303 299 9484


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Heidi Culbertson
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