Educating you on the law, attainable goals, possible outcomes and appropriate next steps

quicker resolution | less expense | more privacy | more desirable results

Resolve your family law differences without going to court – by focusing upon settlement, not conflict.

Through the collaborative law process, the couple, not the lawyers or judges, maintains control of the outcome. By working toward an acceptable settlement, you will be able to move on with your life faster, and avoid the financial and emotional expenses of litigation.

From Richard's interview for the Masters of Family Law series on

A collaborative case is generally less expensive, quicker, more private and achieves more desirable results than a traditional divorce litigation.

With the guidance of a professional collaborative team, you can lessen the adversarial nature of your divorce proceedings as well as avoid spending a significant part of the wealth you have accumulated to get a divorce. You also avoid the unknown outcome of a trial, as you retain control of the process, ensuring the court system does not make final decisions for you.

The collaborative law process:

  • both parties pledge not to litigate, instead committing to a positive and respectful approach that will minimize the negative emotional and financial impacts upon you and your children
  • both parties engage a trained collaborative lawyer
  • an agreement is signed that states all parties agree to negotiate in good faith
  • the attorneys build your problem-solving Collaborative Team: a Financial Neutral advisor and a Mental Health Neutral advisor, most suited to your issues and focused upon the best possible results for your family
  • in a confidential and private environment, your Collaborative Team will guide you in interest-based negotiations in a series of meetings to develop a clear understanding of your goals and expectations
  • both parties are committed to the process – if it fails, the attorneys must withdraw from the case and you must hire new counsel
  • through creative solutions-based negotiations, the Collaborative Team helps you select options and develop a comprehensive written agreement

If you want to retain control of decisions on the long-term restructuring of your family’s emotional and financial future, the collaborative approach could be for you.

We believe the collaborative approach is the future of marital and family law in the United States. Richard West was one of the first attorneys in Central Florida to become trained in, and begin practicing collaborative law. He has the experience, in both litigation and collaboration, to help you decide what option is best for you.

Schedule your thorough and confidential consultation with us today on how the collaborative law process can help you:

  • keep your personal and financial information private and confidential
  • do what is best for your children
  • maintain control of your family’s future success

The Collaborative Law Process + Team

Through this professionally-guided, non-adversarial approach

  • focus upon solutions to your family’s issues
  • anticipate future needs
  • minimize financially damaged, unresolved conflict and short-lived agreements
  • address your goals with custom-tailored long-term solutions
  • enhance your post-divorce familial relationships

The Interdisciplinary Team

  • 2 collaborative lawyers
  • 1 neutral mental health professional
  • 1 neutral financial professional

Your Collaborative Lawyer

  • is trained in problem-solving, conflict resolution, negotiation and advocacy
  • guides you throughout the process
  • advocates for you
  • facilitates a mutual agreement
  • educates you regarding the law
  • prepares the documents to complete your divorce

Your Neutral Mental Health Professional

  • facilitates each meeting
  • manages the emotions in the room
  • keeps the meetings on-schedule and productive
  • assists with parenting plans
  • coordinates other specific issues

Your Neutral Financial Professional

  • assists in gathering and organizing your financial info
  • creates workbooks containing spreadsheets and analyses
  • educates you and your spouse about your finances
  • assists in developing options
developed with information from The Collaborative Family Law Group of Central Florida,