Jump to Main Content


Collaborative Law

In the family law arena, the lawyers of Aaron, Riechert, Carpol & Riffle, APC, have tailored their practice to help divorcing parties settle disagreements by negotiation rather than litigation. One method to accomplish this goal is for clients to use a process called Collaborative Law. In this model, each party to an action for dissolution of marriage chooses his or her own lawyer. The two clients and their respective lawyers then sign a contract in which they all commit to resolve the issues in their dissolution of marriage without going to court. They also agree to make a full disclosure to their spouse of all assets and liabilities accumulated during marriage. The lawyers and parties agree that if the collaborative process fails, and the parties must go to court, neither of the lawyers can represent the parties in the litigation. The collaborative process proceeds to conclusion with the use of conferences between the two parties and their lawyers. Counsel and the parties can decide to hire third party experts, such as appraisers and child custody and visitation counselors, to assist them as necessary.

The collaborative process has important benefits for the divorcing parties. First, studies have shown that the total cost of the collaborative process is less than the cost of traditional methods of dissolving a marriage. Second, the parties can craft a settlement that meets their unique needs, often using methods that a court cannot impose, but will enforce. Third, if there are children involved, the collaborative approach ameliorates the emotional impact of the dissolution on them, and allows the parents to model healthy dispute resolution for their children.

To learn more about this process, you can go to the website of the Collaborative Practice of San Mateo County at www.collaborative-law.com.

Home | About Us | Attorneys & Staff | Practice Areas | Forms, Publications & Links | Directions | Contact