v· marriage to work with their lawyers and, on occasion, other family professionals in order to avoid the uncertain outcome of court and to achieve a settlement that best meets the specific needs of both parties and their children without the underlying threat of contested litigation. The voluntary process is initiated when the couple signs a contract (called the "participation agreement"), binding each other to the process and disqualifying their respective lawyer's right to represent either one in any future family related litigation.
The collaborative process can be used to facilitate a broad range of other family issues, including disputes between parents and the drawing up of pre and post-marital contracts. The traditional method of drawing up pre-marital contracts is oppositional, and many couples prefer to begin their married life on a better footing where documents are drawn up consensually and together. 
This approach to conflict resolution was created in 1990 by a Minnesota family lawyer Stuart Webb, who saw that traditional litigation was not always helpful to parties and their families, and often was damaging. Since 1990, the Collaborative Law movement has spread rapidly to most of the United States, Europe, Canada and Australia. Per the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals ("IACP"), more than 22,000 lawyers have been trained in Collaborative Law worldwide, with collaborative practitioners in at least 46 states. In some localities, Collaborative Law has become the predominant method for resolving divorce, co-habitation and other family disputes. More than 1,250 lawyers have completed their training in England where collaborative law was launched in 2003.
The growth of the collaborative process in England and Wales has been encouraged by both the judiciary and the family lawyers organisation, Resolution. In an address to London family lawyers in October 2009, the newly appointed Supreme Court Justice, Lord Kerr of Tonaghmore became the first member of the Supreme Court to publicly endorse Collaborative Law and called for its extension to other areas. Previously, in October 2008 the Hon. Mr Justice Coleridge, a High Court Judge of the Family Division, had promised that collaborative agreements would be fast tracked in the High Court of England and Wales.
The primary global collaborative organisation is the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP), which was founded in the late 1990's by a group of northern California lawyers, psychotherapists, and financial planners. There are numerous practice groups (or PODS) of collaborative practitioners worldwide. An updated list of worldwide practice groups and their individual members can be located on the IACP website, www.collaborativepractice.com.
The American Bar Association ("ABA"), the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers ("IAML") all have Collaborative Law committees.
IACP is an interdisciplinary organisation whose members include lawyers, mental health professionals and financial specialists. National Collaborative organisations have been established in many jurisdictions,including Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Kenya, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Switzerland, and Uganda, as well as the United States. There is an active on-line collaborative community on Twitter., and several active listservs with worldwide membership (limited to practicing collaborative professionals.
In England and Wales, Resolution, the family lawyers organisation founded by John Cornwell and Henry Brown, one of mediation’s founding fathers, to encourage a constructive approach to divorces and family law, has sole responsibility for the training and accreditation of all collaborative professionals. The development of its code of practice was adopted in the course of two decades. Courts in family disputes are now mandated to consider not just the steps in proceedings, but the way they are carried out.
Almost one-third of all English family lawyers have now completed their collaborative training. In the Republic of Ireland regional collaborative law associations have been set up in cities such as Galway, Cork and Dublin.
Uniform Collaborative Law Act
In the United States, the Uniform Collaborative Law Act was adopted in 2009 by the Uniform Law Commission, and thereby became available to the individual States to enact as law. In 2010, the Uniform Collaborative Law Act was amended to add several options and renamed the Uniform Collaborative Law Rules and Act. As of October 2011, the Uniform Collaborative Law Act was enacted into law in the states of Utah, Nevada, and Texas, and was pending enactment in several additional U.S. states. See, http://www.nccusl.org/Act.aspx?title=Collaborative%20Law%20Act.
The Overview to the Act provides a comprehensive and reliable history of the emergence of collaborative law in the United States; http://www.law.upenn.edu/bll/archives/ulc/ucla/2010_final.htm. The Hofstra Law Review has published a special issue about the Uniform Act, Vol. 38, Issue 2 (September 2010), edited by Andrew Schepard, the "reporter" (i.e. committee chair) for the committee of the Uniform Law Commission that drafted and ultimately enacted the Uniform Act.
collaborative law — An alternative way to settle disputes in which both parties hire specially trained attorneys who work to help them respectfully resolve the conflict. Every participant in a collaborative case agrees to work together to seek a win win solution to… … Law dictionary
collaborative law — /kəˈlæbərətɪv lɔ/ (say kuh labuhruhtiv law) noun the practice of law based on a cooperative rather than an adversarial process, by which the disputing parties are helped by legal professionals to reach agreement without going to court; often used … Australian English dictionary
collaborative divorce — A method of resolving a divorce case in which both spouses hire attorneys who practice collaborative law, and the parties and attorneys sign an agreement that requires them to negotiate the divorce through a series of four way meetings, often… … Law dictionary
law and motion calendar — A description of the kinds of legal matters a particular judge or courtroom will hear that day, week, or any other block of time. The law and motion calendar consists of pretrial motions (such as a motion to compel the other side in a civil case… … Law dictionary
collaborative research agreement — Collaboration between industry and universities under which universities can obtain sponsorship to assist their research activities and can earn revenue by the commercial development and marketing of their innovations through the expertise of… … Law dictionary
collaborative — index concurrent (united), joint, mutual (collective), synergetic Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 … Law dictionary
Collaborative divorce — Overview and History= Collaborative Family Law (also called Collaborative Practice, Collaborative Divorce, and Collaborative Law) was originally a family law procedure in which the two parties agreed that they would not go to court, or threaten… … Wikipedia
Collaborative Family Law — Overview and History= Collaborative Family Law (also called Collaborative Practice, Collaborative Divorce, and Collaborative Law) was originally a family law procedure in which the two parties agreed that they would not go to court, or threaten… … Wikipedia
Collaborative practice — Overview and History= Collaborative Family Law (also called Collaborative Practice, Collaborative Divorce, and Collaborative Law) was originally a family law procedure in which the two parties agreed that they would not go to court, or threaten… … Wikipedia
Collaborative software — (also referred to as groupware) is computer software designed to help people involved in a common task achieve goals. One of the earliest definitions of “collaborative software” is, intentional group processes plus software to support them.… … Wikipedia