At Probasco Law, our goal is to educate our clients on the various ways to reach the best resolution to their case in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible. You are in control of your case, and we tailor our advocacy to your needs.
The Collaborative Process is a voluntary alternative dispute resolution process in which the parties, not the Court, are in control of their case. The focus of the Collaborative Process is to reach a comprehensive settlement agreement that focuses on meeting the goals of all parties involved. If you opt into the Collaborative Process, you opt out of the Court system, which can be expensive, slow, and unpredictable.
At the beginning of the Collaborative Process, you and the other party retain collaboratively trained attorneys who can assist in navigating the Collaborative Process. Once the collaboratively trained attorneys have been retained, the parties and their attorneys decide whether it is necessary to retain other collaboratively trained professionals to assist the parties in reaching their goals. Examples of such experts are forensic accountants, mental health professionals, parenting experts, and financial planners. Once the other professionals are selected, meetings are scheduled to address the parties' issues. The parties, their attorneys and the other professionals form a "team" and meet all together to assist the parties in addressing the varies aspects of their case (i.e. parenting, division of assets, support). The "team" follows an agenda at every meeting and can resolve a case much more quickly than the legal system. Additionally, the Collaborative Process is completely confidential. If the parties reach an impasse, in order to protect the confidentiality of the Collaborative Process, the collaborative attorneys must withdraw and the case may proceed through litigation. If a settlement is reached at the end of a collaborative case, the Court will only be advised that the parties have reached a settlement and request that the settlement be ratified by Court order finalizing the case. Instead of submitting your case to a Judge, who may or may not understand the intricacies of your family, the Collaborative Process allows the parties to tailor their resolution to meet the specific needs of their family.
Ms. Probasco has been trained in the Collaborative Process and would be happy to be on your team.
Like the Collaborative Process, mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process and is confidential. However, unlike the Collaborative Process, mediation is required by the Court in most contested family law actions and typically takes place in either a half-day or full-day with the parties separated in two different rooms. Mediation usually takes place after the parties have exchanged financial documents. The mediator's role is to act as a neutral third party who facilitates the exchange of information between the parties. The mediator cannot provide legal advice nor advocate for one party or another, which is why retaining an attorney to attend mediation is a wise decision. It is important to know your legal rights prior to entering into a mediated settlement agreement.
During mediation, the attorney's role is to advise the client of his or her rights under the law. This knowledge can assist a client in making an informed decision whether to settle the case or move forward with litigation. If an agreement is reached during mediation, the mediator usually drafts a settlement agreement, i.e. a contract, reducing the parties' agreement to writing. An attorney can review this draft settlement agreement to ensure all of the legal requirements are met and that his or her client's rights are protected. Once the settlement agreement is signed, it can be filed with the Court and incorporated into an order of the Court. If an agreement cannot be reached, the mediator advises the Court that the parties have reached an impasse without disclosing the reason for the impasse, and the parties may seek the appropriate relief directly from the Court. Mediation can be a cost-effective way to reach a resolution to a family law matter.
At Probasco Law, our goal is to help our clients preserve their financial resources and resolve their cases as quickly and efficiently as possible.
When parties cannot agree on how to resolve their case, the parties must submit their disagreements to the Judge for decision. In family law litigation, it is the attorney's role to present to the Court the evidence that best supports the client's position. The attorney also helps the client understand the Court's deadlines and how to effectively navigate the legal system. If the parties cannot agree on an issue in their family law matter, the Court applies the law to the facts of that particular case. Litigation in a family law matter can be expensive and uncertain. Because the Court has broad discretion on issues such as how the parties share time with their child, whether a party is entitled to alimony, and which party receives a particular asset or liability, it is difficult to predict how a case will be resolved by the Court. This is one of the many reasons why many clients settle their case outside of Court. However, there are certain circumstances that require Court intervention, particularly if one of the parties is taking an untenable position. In those cases, litigation may be unavoidable.
At Probasco Law, we have experience litigating a variety of family law matters including divorce actions, paternity actions, custody actions, alimony and child support disputes, and post judgment actions such as modification and enforcement actions. Our goal is to provide competent and proficient representation before the Court.