Subscribe to the RSS Feed

Columbus Ohio Collaborative Divorce Attorneys

COLUMBUS OHIO COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE ATTORNEY What is collaborative divorce?  Simply put, it is a process designed to streamline the process for ending a marriage, and to motivate clients and attorneys to reach resolution quickly, instead of  engage in long, drawn out court battles.   The Ohio Collaborative Family Law Act (Ohio Revised Code 3105.41 to 3105.54) becomes effective March 22, 2013.

COLUMBUS COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE LAWYERDoes that mean that there is no collaborative divorce in Ohio before that time?  Absolutely not!  Collaborative divorce has been around in Ohio for a long time.  Here at the Law Offices of Virginia C. Cornwell, our Columbus Ohio Collaborative Divorce Attorneys are pleased to represent clients in Collaborative Divorce and Collaborative Family Law.  Virginia Cornwell is also an Ohio State Bar Association Certified Family Relations Specialist.

CALL NOW! (614) 225-9316

COLUMBUS OHIO COLLABORATIVE LAW ATTORNEYWhy is Collaborative Family Law for you?  Well, to start with, everybody’s motivation and wallet are in the right place. Those two issues are huge in a divorce!  If the parties don’t reach an agreement, the Collaborative Family Law participation agreement says that the parties both lose their attorneys – the attorneys cannot represent the parties in any court proceedings.  That agreement is not just a statement of good intention either – effective March 22, 2013, it is the law in Ohio!  So all the time spent in selecting an attorney that the parties like and trust, all the time and money spent negotiating trying to reach resolution – all of that will be lost if no agreement is reached.

In Collaborative Family Law, most, if not all of the negotiating should be done with the attorneys and the parties together, at what is called a “four way meeting”.   Clients usually like this better than a divorce with multiple court appearances, where they wait outside and only the attorneys talk to the judge or magistrate.  In Collaborative Family Law, because the parties and attorneys are meeting face to face, the parties and the attorneys should be focused on the task at hand, instead of engaging in months of costly back and forth letter writing and court appearances.  With Collaborative Divorce, the parties and attorneys have one court appearance.

CALL NOW! (614) 225-9316

COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE LAWYER INSo what kind of attorneys practice Collaborative Divorce, and what is the Collaborative Divorce process?   First, let us dispel a few myths.

It is NOT true that a Collaborative Divorce attorney must be a collections of sole practitioner attorneys who form a collaborative association.  Larger family law firms can include collaborative divorce lawyers and collaborative family law attorneys as well.   It is also NOT true that to practice Collaborative Family Law, an attorney must belong to one of these Collaborative Family Law associations.

CALL NOW! (614) 225-9316

COLUMBUS COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE LAWYERThe Ohio Collaborative Family Law Act defines a Collaborative family lawyer as a “lawyer who represents a party in a collaborative family law process but does not include a lawyer who is a public official and who does not represent individuals other than public officials in their official capacities”.  The Act defines the Collaborative family law process as a “procedure intend to resolve a matter without intervention by a court in which the parties sign a collaborative family law participation agreement and are represented by collaborative family lawyers. ”

CALL NOW! (614) 225-9316

COLUMBUS OHIO COLLABORATIVE FAMILY LAW ATTORNEYSo attorneys that practice litigation can also be collaborative family law attorneys or collaborative divorce attorneys.  Collaborative divorce attorneys or Collaborative family law attorneys do not have to be in associations, clubs or firms with other collaborative family law attorneys in order to practice collaborative family law.  Likewise, Collaborative divorce attorneys and Collaborative family law lawyers can practice litigation as well.  In fact, if your spouse has an attorney in one of these clubs, associations or firms, and will not engage in the collaborative family law process with you and the attorney you have chosen, it is possible that your spouse has been misled about the collaborative law process, or the other side is not fully committed to the process yet.

CALL NOW! (614) 225-9316

COLUMBUS OHIO COLLABORATIVE FAMILY LAW ATTORNEYBut what about experts?  Sometimes the divorce process requires the advice of tax accountants, real estate appraisers, and other experts.   Most domestic attorneys, whether they are in collaborative associations or not, work with these types of experts.  The parties can jointly select an expert for advice or appraisal in order to speed up the process and reduce costs.

COLUMBUS OHIO COLLABORATIVE LAW ATTORNEYSo what is the difference between Collaborative Family Law, divorce, dissolution and mediation?  First, Collaborative Family Law can be for the purpose of resolving ANY family law issue, not just divorce.  It involves attorneys, and the attorneys cannot represent the parties in contested litigation if agreement is not reached.  Collaborative divorce is similar, but the process is designed only to decide issues needed to end a marriage.  The term “divorce” usually refers to a contested divorce process where one of the parties file for divorce, and they proceed to litigate about the issues (at least for a while).  Dissolution is a process for ending the marriage where the parties first agree on all issues, and then file the paperwork to end the marriage.  The parties can come to agreement on their own, through negotiation with the help of an attorney, through mediation, or through the collaborative divorce process.

CALL NOW! (614) 225-9316

COLUMBUS OHIO COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE LAWYERIn mediation, the mediator’s job is to get to “yes”.  The mediator is not looking out for YOU.  The mediator cannot give you legal advice.  The mediator’s client, so to speak, is agreement, and as such, a mediator will often not point out problems that may arise with making a certain agreement. They just figure if a problem arises, you can just come back to mediation!  A Collaborative Family Law Attorney will be trying to help you reach agreement, but also help you reach an agreement that you are going to be able to live with for as long as possible without having to “come back to the to table” constantly.

Once you reach an agreement, the attorneys prepare the legal documents necessary to make the parties’ agreement an order of the court (custody orders, shared parenting, divorce, support, spousal support, dissolution, child support orders, etc.)  The parties appear before the court (sometimes) to tell the court that they agree to what is in the court documents, and the court makes the agreements an order.

CALL NOW! (614) 225-9316

Of course, people change over time, and sometimes the circumstances which were the basis of your original agreement may have changed such that your original agreement no longer works.  Can you use Collaborative Family Law to revisit your orders on a post-decree basis?  Of course you can, as long as the court has authority to modify its original order.

The Law Offices of Virginia C. Cornwell is located in Columbus, Ohio, and has Columbus Ohio Collaborative Family Law Attorneys and Columbus Ohio Collaborative Divorce Lawyers who will represent clients in all 88 Ohio Counties.

CALL NOW! (614) 225-9316

DISCLAIMER – Read it, it’s important!


  1. B says

    This a an amicable dissolution. The only issue I have to get her name off of the deed. We are both on the deed and I’m alone on the loan of the house

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.