General

How do I know Evans Family Law is right for me?

Choosing a lawyer can be a difficult decision. We want to make sure that you are comfortable with choosing Evans Family Law and with our approach. We offer a first time meeting at a flat fee where you can discuss your concerns and get advice about your specific situation. We’ll also provide you with information regarding community resources that might be of benefit. After this meeting, you will have the option of retaining our firm, but there is no obligation to do so.

Collaborative Practice

How do I know if collaborative law will work in my situation?

The collaborative approach is suited to couples who have mutual respect and can commit to the following:

  • A pledge not to go to court
  • An honest exchange of information on the part of both spouses
  • A solution that takes into account what is in the best interests of the adults as well as the children

What if my spouse does not want to participate?

Collaborative practice requires the participation of both spouses. If your spouse is willing to attend an initial meeting with a collaborative lawyer, we can explain the potential benefits of the process. Ultimately, however, your spouse needs to be willing to participate for collaborative practice to work.

Do I need to have a full collaborative team?

The lawyers at our firm have collaborative relationships with a variety of professionals who can assist you in resolving both legal and non-legal issues stemming from your specific situation. Who becomes involved depends on your needs and the recommendations of the collaborative professionals. The collaborating professionals most often involved include the following:

Financial Specialists

– To assist with the valuation of family assets and planning for your financial future after separation.

Communication and Parenting Coaches

– To assist you and your co-parent with developing a parenting plan for your children, to assist with developing communication guidelines and patterns for you and your co-parent, and to assist you and your co-parent with working through emotional obstacles that are preventing the two of you from collaborating.

Child Specialists

– To assist with bringing the child’s “voice” to the collaboration, if appropriate.

Is collaborative law more expensive than settling my divorce through the courts?

In many cases, a collaborative approach can be less expensive than a contested process. The collaborative professionals involved are all focused on helping you and your spouse to reach a mutually acceptable agreement. This means that it can take less time and cost less than the court process, which often fuels conflict and disagreement. The communication and negotiation skills couples learn in the collaborative process can also minimize any future conflict that could result in further court costs with respect to visitation and child custody agreements.

Why do I need to have so many professionals involved?

After a decade of using the collaborative process to help restructure families, we have learned that the variety of issues families face are best handled by professionals who have the skill base to deal with each specific area. For example, if communication between you and your co-parent is preventing you from reaching a mutually agreeable resolution, communication coaches have the skills to help you overcome that hurdle. If you have concerns about your ability to afford to maintain a similar lifestyle in a restructured family, a financial specialist can assist with making sure that you have the information you need to make decisions that fit for you and your family.

Does Evans Family Law only work in collaborative settings?

The lawyers at Evans Family Law believe that the collaborative process is the process that best meets the needs of most families, but there are other forms of dispute resolution that may be appropriate as well. During our initial consultation, we will identify the dispute resolution method that will best suit your needs, including negotiated settlement, mediation, arbitration and, in some cases, litigation. In all but a very few instances, however, we see using the court as a last resort to resolving family matters.