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Birmingham Bar Association Spring 2014

Collaborative Law G. R. Fernambucq and Heather Fann; Boyd, Fernanbucq & Dunn, PC LCaowll aborative Codified It is never bad to have “The process another option available when trying to resolve a dispute—especially one dealing with “family” related issues. Frequently, when the issues include children, a home, investments, and the future of everything someone has worked (or not worked) for, emotions can be high. Adding to the mix individual personalities of “the players” including but not limited to the parties, the lawyers, begins formally with a “participation agreement” between the parties and their lawyers...” your momma, etc., can cause the situation to spiral out of control and into the proverbial ditch. Too many times, someone will not settle, does not want to settle, or does not know how to settle a dispute. But if the parties sincerely want to resolve things—everything—and if the lawyer is capable of steering the case in a positive, productive direction, the case should be resolvable, and resolved. The collaborative law process, which has gained momentum nationwide since its inception in 1990, has received a second boost in Alabama (the first being the implementation of Rule 1.2(c) of the Alabama Rules of Professional Conduct, which permits limited scope representation such as this), as the Alabama Collaborative Law Act (§6- 6-26 through 6-6-26.2, Code of Alabama, (1975)) became effective January 1, 2014. Under the Act, a “collaborative matter” includes “marriage, divorce, dissolution, annulment, property distribution, child custody, visitation, parenting time, alimony maintenance, child support; adoption and other probate court matters involving families and children; parentage; and premarital, marital and post-marital agreements.” The Act provides a procedure by which parties to a family law or domestic relations matter could resolve the matter through a collaborative law agreement without involvement by an administrator or judicial tribunal (the exception being 34 Birmingham Bar Association


Birmingham Bar Association Spring 2014
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