THE LITIGATION PROCESS
Just the thought of dissolving a marriage can be painful. And making it a reality could often be a living hell, sometimes made even worse by the lawyers themselves!
Teresa Ombres approaches the litigation process in a way that minimizes not only the emotional trauma to her clients, but the financial cost as well. Simply stated, her goal is to achieve a more amicable, less expensive divorce by using common sense, maintaining civility and cooperation (between clients and opposing attorneys), sharing information and fostering understanding. And when children are involved, there is always a special emphasis on protecting them from the harmful effects that can often result from family crisis. Hers is an approach that helps prevent the nasty, war-like, “fight-to-the-finish” scenarios that so often mark the way traditional divorce litigation plays out. And it is an approach that discourages opposing counsel from making unreasonable demands, utilizing delaying tactics that impede progress, and often eliminates the need for unnecessary (and expensive) court appearances and court-related paperwork.
It is a process whose end result is a speedier resolution, one that is easier on all parties involved, and one that helps to keep attorney fees reasonable and manageable.
THE MEDIATION PROCESS
Mediation is a process that assists divorcing couples in reaching agreement on all pertinent issues without opposing lawyers doing battle for them. Teresa Ombres, in addition to being an attorney, has undergone extensive professional training as a Divorce Mediator.
She begins by helping the couple to realize that they share a common goal: Getting on with their lives, apart from each other. The process unfolds in a series of sessions with both spouses and the Mediator that, depending on the complexity of the situation, can span several weeks or a few months. Mediation creates an environment of working together to resolve issues, one by one, by the individuals whose futures will be most effected… the husband and wife. When conflicts arise, the Mediator will help them to understand each other’s concerns, better enabling them to reach decisions that satisfy the needs of both parties. It is a process that allows the parties to reach their goal via shared decision-making, fairness, dignity and, above all, in an atmosphere that is healthier for everyone who is ultimately touched by the separation and divorce.
The result of the Mediation process is an agreement by the individuals that is usually reached in a fraction of the time, and at a fraction of the cost of many traditional litigated proceedings. And it is an agreement minus the often arbitrary and binding decisions of an uninterested third party (a judge). The result: Divorce with Dignity.
THE COLLABORATIVE PROCESS
Bridging the gap between Litigation and Mediation, the Collaborative Law approach retains the best of both processes. Many people, for various reasons, are just not comfortable negotiating for themselves. For example, there may be a pronounced imbalance of power between the spouses.
Or, some people would just rather not trust themselves during such emotional and vulnerable times to adequately speak up for their own interests. In this process the dynamics of the spousal relationship are neutralized, creating an even playing field. Both parties retain separate, specially trained lawyers to represent them and assist in resolving issues fairly and equitably without either going to court or threatening to do so. Participants agree to work respectfully, honestly and in good faith to find solutions that meet the legitimate needs of both spouses.
Like Mediation, the process consists of several sessions, not in court, but in a conference room environment with clients and attorneys present. This promotes a willingness on everyone’s part to listen to each other, compromise where necessary and, ultimately, reach a fair settlement in a timely and cost-efficient manner.