• Sandra Eugster, Ph.D. | 440 Science Drive, Suite 400, Madison, WIhttps://www.madisondivorcemediation.com/

    Sandra Eugster, Ph.D.

    Madison Divorce Mediation, LLC, 440 Science Dr., Suite 400, Madison, WI 53711

    In our interdisciplinary mediation process, we support and guide families from filing the initial action through to the final hearing. Our team always includes an attorney neutral, a financial neutral, and a mental health neutral. We appeal to people's desire to be their best selves, even when in conflict. We guide parties to work together until they reach agreements about children, property and income division in a civilized and human manner, protecting the kids from being harmed by contentious litigation.  Our clients leave with self respect intact, taking comfort in the fact that the process was completed in the best manner possible.

    Contact us at 608-335-8286 or visit us online at www.madisondivorcemediation.com 

  • First Look Family Law | 15850 W. Bluemound Rd. Suite 304 | Brookfield WI 53005We help lower your conflict to lower your cost, both financial and emotional

    Karyn Youso, JD

    Divorce is difficult, even in the most amicable of families.  At First Look Family Law we are here to support you with the answers you need to get you through this stressful time.  We offer compassionate, straightforward advice, with the goal of helping you move on to the next stage of your life.
    Karyn is a Dolphin Award Recipient - 2005 & 2007

    Call us at 262-788-5335 or visit us online at www.firstlooklaw.com

  • Koritzinsky & Karls, LLC | 414 D’Onofrio Drive, #300 | Madison WI 53719Contact Nanette at 608-833-7799 

    Nanette Karls, JD

    Nanette's practice focuses in the areas of Family Law, Residential Real Estate, and Estate Planning. Nanette graduated with Honors from the University of Wisconsin Madison in 1988, and Cum Laude from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1991. She is a member of the Dane County Bar Association, and the State Bar of Wisconsin and served on the Board of Directors for the Collaborative Family Law Council of Wisconsin, Inc.

    Contact Nanette at 608-833-7799.

    Visit Koritzinsky & Karls, LLC online at koritzinskykarls.com

  • D’Angelo & Grabow, LLP | N14 W23755 Stone Ridge Drive, Suite 200 | Waukesha WI 53188Not All Divorces Are The Same

    Christine D'Angelo, JD

    ReAnna Grabow, JD

    We know every family's legal needs are different. Our experienced attorneys can help you understand your options and decide which path is best to pursue.
    Christine is a Dolphin Award Recipient - 2020

    Call us at 262-278-0987. Visit us online at www.dangelograbow.com

  • Zimmermann Law Office, S,C. | 8989 Port Washington Rd., Suite 208 | Bayside WI 53217The Name to Trust in Family Law

    Karen Zimmermann, JD

    We are a family law firm, and our goal is to help our clients through the process of divorce in a manner that is most conducive to their emotional and financial health, and minimize the trauma of the process on their family. Whether you are seeking legal help with traditional divorce services, collaborative divorce, mediation, Guardian Ad Litem or family financial restructuring, give us a call at 414-352-4400.

    Karen is a Dolphin Award Recipient - 2012

    Zimmermann Law Office – The name to trust in family law. www.zimmermannlaw.com

A Brief Overview of Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative divorce is a process where you and your spouse negotiate an acceptable agreement with assistance from specially trained professionals. You  each hire a collaborative attorney who advises and assists you in negotiating a settlement agreement. You meet separately with your own attorney and the four of you meet together on a regular basis. A collaborative divorce also involves other professionals, such as child custody specialist or accountants as required by your unique circumstances.

Both spouses and their attorneys sign an agreement that requires the attorneys to withdraw from the case if a settlement is not reached and the case goes to court. Collaborative divorce attorneys will not represent you if you end up in divorce court, nor will the other team members with who you have been working.

Your agreement will eventually be presented by you to a family court judge so he/she can sign the agreement. Once an agreement is reached on all issues, the legal part of the divorce is a simple, uncontested procedure that doesn’t require a trial or litigious hearings on points of evidence and pretrial maneuvers such as interrogatories and disclosure.

Basic Steps in the Collaborative Process

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Step 1: Contact a Collaborative Professional

Most couples initiate the process through a discussion with a professional that works as a team member in Collaborative practice, usually an attorney or mental health professional. As part of this step each of you will select an attorney. Often Collaborative attorneys will meet with you at no or very low cost in order to discuss the process with you and explain the basic principles which guide the process.

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Step 2: You and Your Team hold the Initial Collaborative Meeting

Once both you and your spouse have retained Collaboratively-trained attorneys, the first Collaborative Meeting will be scheduled at a convenient time for everyone. At that first meeting, you will sign a “Collaborative Law Participation Agreement.” This Agreement will confirm that you agree you are not going to court, and your divorce can proceed at a pace that’s more comfortable for you both.

You and your spouse commit to communicating fully, frankly and respectfully; to participate with integrity; and to negotiate in good faith. Your attorneys will discuss all aspects of the process and your rights and obligations during the negotiations.

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Step 3: You and Your Team Work To Gather Needed Information

You, your spouse, and your team will get together for settlement conferences, instead of court appearances, and your case will be customized for your unique circumstances. Lots of communication will happen via phone calls and emails, as opposed to the exchange of formal letters that are often confrontational and oppositional in the litigation process. This type of informal communication can save you money. The time this step takes will depend greatly upon you, your spouse, and your particular situation. This step often uses what are commonly referred to as "Four Way" sessions, as you, your spouse and your attorneys make up the team. Often each team member will have specific tasks to complete; i.e. each of you may be asked to gather information of a financial nature while the other works on other information needed for the four way discussions.

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Step 4: You and Your Team Work Through Options and Future Considerations

Through a series of meetings and conferences, the team works with you to identify your shared interests, individual needs, ideas and attitudes about everything from child care to educational desires, employment options and the division of assets and liabilities. These sessions also bring about options and ideas for forming the eventual agreement. As this stage progresses you negotiate and reach a consensus with your spouse/partner as to the specific aspects of the divorce.

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Step 5: You and Your Team Draft an Agreement and Obtain Court Approval

Once the negotiations are complete and everyone accepts all the terms, a Marital Settlement Agreement is drafted. Once this Agreement is signed by both of you, it is presented to the Court for approval. A hearing is scheduled and in nearly all Collaborative cases the hearing takes only a few minutes. Once approved by the judge the divorce decree is granted.

While is may seem like a straight-forward process, it is not necessarily rapid, or easy. Every family situation is different. A couple with no children and few assets, debts, or real estate for example is quite different from a couple with significant assets, a family business, or second or vacation homes. All family situations can be successfully resolved via the process if the parties - you and your spouse - are dedicated to it.