Collaborative Divorce

A relatively new approach to family disputes in Wisconsin is called Collaborative Divorce. The twin goals of this approach are to avoid the added stress and animosity that often result from the adversarial system, and to resolve disputes jointly by meeting the needs of both parties and the children.

Many family law attorneys – including those at Wessel, Lehker & Fumelle – work collaboratively with other attorneys and the opposing party in appropriate divorce cases. What is unique in Collaborative Divorce cases is a written agreement stating that all disputes will be resolved without court involvement. Both attorneys and both parties agree in writing that if the parties cannot resolve their disputes without court involvement, both attorneys must withdraw from the case.

In practice, the Collaborative Divorce approach involves multiple meetings between counsel and the parties to work toward resolution of disputes. Attorneys provide their clients with legal advice and work toward solving problems, rather than representing their clients in court. Financial advisers, child advocates, and other professionals may be selected jointly to provide essential information.

The attorneys at Wessel, Lehker & Fumelle litigate aggressively when the situation requires it, and work within the formal Collaborative Divorce model where appropriate. We very often employ a combination of these approaches, negotiating and litigating within the same case. We recommend that you discuss your case with one of our attorneys to determine which approach is best for you.