5. How does the CFL process work?

The CFL process is based on a series of meetings where both the parties and their respective lawyers are present. Prior to this you would have met with your lawyer to discuss the issues of concern to you and determine whether CFL is appropriate. In addition, your lawyer will meet with or speak with the lawyer retained by your spouse (another lawyer trained in collaborative family law). The lawyers act as facilitators and will model constructive communication. The lawyers will help keep the discussions between the parties focused on the problems that the parties are trying to work out and help to find creative solutions. In CFL, you and your partner are empowered to reach decisions that will work best for both of you. The lawyers will provide legal advice and help generate options for resolution. They will also assist you to improve your listening, communication and negotiating skills. In CFL, both parties must make full, honest disclosure of finances and other important facts that are necessary to make informed decisions. If there are issues concerning children, the parents and lawyers commit to finding solutions that meet the best interests of the children. In CFL, all of the participants commit to treat one another with respect. The lawyers work as a team with the parties to provide options and choices for settlement.

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