"Sample of Law Deposition Divorce"
SAMPLE ONLY COLLABORATIVE LAW PARTICIPATION AGREEMENT Jane Doe and John Doe (“the Parties”) have chosen to use the Collaborative Law Process to settle the issues arising from the dissolution of the Parties’ relationship. They have selected Jane’s Lawyer and John’s Lawyer (“the Lawyers”) to assist them. I. Principles We agree that these principles form the foundation of our Process: Acting with honesty, transparency, and candor; Demonstrating cooperation, respect, integrity and dignity; Identifying and addressing the interests and needs of all; Focusing on the future well-being of ourselves and our children; Committing to resolve matters directly and without court intervention. SAMPLE II. Communication The Parties commit to effectively communicate with each other in a respectful and constructive manner. The Parties commit to explore their interests, speak freely, and express their goals, interests, desires, and options without criticism from the other. The Parties and Lawyers shall uphold a high standard of integrity, and shall abide by the attached “Rules of Good Faith in the Collaborative Process” which are part of this agreement. The Parties authorize the Lawyers to communicate directly with either Party, including the Party who is not their own client. III. Children’s Issues John Doe and Jane Doe agree to make every effort to keep their children’s best interests in the forefront when discussing children’s issues. They acknowledge that inappropriate communications can be harmful to their children, and that settlement issues are inappropriate and will not be discussed in the presence of their children. Any communication with children regarding settlement issues will occur only if by mutual agreement or with the advice of a child specialist. IV. Disclosure of Information Participation Agreement Page 1 of 8 SAMPLE ONLY The Parties each agree to promptly provide all information that would reasonably be material for settlement, even if not requested, including full disclosure of all assets, income, expectancies, debts, budgeting and other material information. Additionally, the Parties will promptly provide all reasonably requested information. Because both Parties are expected to provide complete and accurate information, the final settlement documents will include sworn statements that the Parties have fully and fairly disclosed all assets, income, expectancies, debts, budgeting and other material information. V. Team Members and Experts. All non-lawyer team members (e.g., Financial Specialist, Coach(es), etc.) and any experts (e.g., real property and/or business appraisers, mortgage brokers, etc.) will only be jointly hired and will work for both Parties; however, if the parties agree there will be two Coaches, then each party will have a Coach. If the Collaborative Law Process terminates, all team members and experts will be disqualified as witnesses and their opinions and work product will not be admissible in court, unless otherwise agreed by both Parties and by the team member or expert after the Collaborative Law Process has terminated. All parties understand and agree that non- SAMPLE lawyer team members and experts are disqualified from rendering services outside or after the Collaborative Law Process. All attorneys, team members, and professionals are independent of one another and have no financial connections, fee-setting, fee-sharing, or referral fee arrangements with one another. The Parties understand that each Collaborative team member must be paid separately for his/her services under the terms of their agreements with each professional, and that some professional fees may be incurred in team briefings before the Parties have met with the professionals. The fee arrangements with the parties’ respective lawyers are likely not identical. Imbalance in payments to lawyers can adversely affect one party’s access to advice and counsel as compared to the other party. For that reason, the Parties undertake to keep payment of all lawyers’ fees current. The Divorce Coach(es), Child Specialist and Collaborative Financial Specialist and other jointly retained neutral expert consultants will also be paid in a timely manner. Any disagreements between us about ultimate responsibility for payment of such fees will be resolved when other financial issues are resolved. The Parties understand that no Collaborative professional can continue to provide services without being paid. VI. No Court or Adversarial Intervention The Collaborative Law Process involves voluntarily foregoing most court procedures, including all contested proceedings including motions (requests to the court), restraining orders, trial, and other procedures and protections of the court system. Participation Agreement Page 2 of 8 SAMPLE ONLY During the Collaborative Law Process neither the Parties nor Lawyers shall take any court action or utilize any other adversarial process other than that which is mutually agreed, mandated by an applicable court rule or court order, or necessitated by a bona fide emergency. No formal “discovery” procedures (court-rule based information gathering) will be used unless specifically agreed by the Parties. The Lawyers have been retained for a limited purpose, which is solely to provide services within the Collaborative Law process. Each Party represents to the other that he or she has an agreement with his or her Lawyer that the Lawyer shall be disqualified from representing that Party in any adversarial court proceeding, whether or not the Collaborative Law Process should terminate. Based on this representation, each Party’s own Lawyer will be disqualified from representing that Party in any adversarial court proceeding, whether or not the Collaborative Law Process terminates. VII. Withdrawal of Lawyer If a Lawyer withdraws, prompt written notice will be given to the other Lawyer. Withdrawal of SAMPLE a Lawyer does not automatically terminate the Collaborative Law Process, so long as a new Lawyer is promptly substituted who agrees in writing to this Agreement. However, if a Lawyer learns that his or her client withheld or misrepresented material information, or otherwise undermined or took improper advantage of the Collaborative Law Process, then that Lawyer shall promptly withdraw from the Collaborative Law Process and notify the other Lawyer that the Collaborative Law Process must terminate. VIII. Party’s Election to Terminate Collaborative Process If a Party elects to terminate the Collaborative Law Process, he or she will provide prompt written notice through his or her Lawyer. The termination shall be effective the date notice is given, unless another date is specified. In that event, the Parties agree to attend one more joint session within thirty days of the termination notice, unless waived by agreement or failure to schedule the joint session within the thirty day period. IX. Waiting Period If Process Terminates Absent a bona fide emergency, there will be a thirty day waiting period prior to any court hearing or other proceeding (such as a deposition) if the Collaborative Law Process terminates. The waiting period allows each Party to retain a new lawyer and make an orderly transition without undue surprise. Either Party may bring this provision to the attention of the Court to request a postponement of a hearing or proceeding. Participation Agreement Page 3 of 8 SAMPLE ONLY If the Collaborative Law Process terminates, the provisions of Section XI, “Rights and Obligations Pending Settlement,” shall remain in effect until changed by mutual agreement or court order. X. Confidentiality Collaborative Law proceedings are confidential. In any legal proceeding between the Parties, neither will: A. Offer evidence of any information created for use in the Collaborative Law Process, except for: (1)(a) signed agreements, and (b) documents that are signed under penalty of perjury, and (2) as agreed under the terms of Section V above. B. Ask or seek to compel any Lawyer, team member, or expert retained as part of the Collaborative Law Process to testify about any communication made during the Collaborative Law Process, or to provide any document. SAMPLE C. Ask or seek to compel the other Party to provide testimony or discovery concerning any communications made during the Collaborative Law Process. D. Offer evidence of any oral statements, admissions, or offers made by either party in the course of the Collaborative Law Process. These provisions do not apply to communications initiated by a lawyer or other professional that are required or authorized to be made by law (such as reporting abuse). XI. Rights and Obligations Pending Settlement Unless agreed otherwise in writing: A. Each Party will honor the other’s privacy, including belongings and living space; B. Each Party will treat the other Party and their minor children with respect; C. The Parties will make changes to the residence of the children only with written agreement; D. Major assets may be transferred only by agreement; Participation Agreement Page 4 of 8 SAMPLE ONLY E. Major expenses, including anything above normal expenses, will be incurred only by agreement; F. All insurance coverage will be maintained and continued without change in coverage or beneficiary designation; and G. Any changes made to utilities, accounts of any kind, or credit card accounts will be changed only by written agreement if not reflected in the progress notes. XII. Lawyer’s Commitment The Parties understand that each Lawyer has a professional duty to represent solely his or her own client, and is not the lawyer for the other Party. Neither Party is a third party beneficiary of a lawyer’s work for his/her own client. SAMPLE XIII. Enforceability of Agreements Signed agreements reached in the Collaborative Law Process are intended to be enforceable and therefore may be presented to the court as a basis for an order, which may be retroactive to the date of the agreement. Unsigned agreements are not intended to be enforceable absent agreement of the Parties. Parties: Dated: ________________________ Dated: ___________________________ ______________________________ _________________________________ Wife – Jane Doe Husband – John Doe Collaborative Lawyers: Participation Agreement Page 5 of 8 SAMPLE ONLY In signing below, each of us confirms that the foregoing document conforms to the agreement of our respective clients, and each of us affirms our intent to proceed in a manner consistent with the letter and spirit of this document and in accordance with the Ethical Standards for Collaborative Professionals of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. _______________________________ ________________________________ Jane’s Lawyer John’s Lawyer Collaborative Attorney for Wife Collaborative Attorney for Husband Other Collaborative Divorce Professionals: In signing below, each of us affirms our intent to proceed in a manner consistent with the letter and spirit of this document, and to abide by all applicable protocols of King County Collaborative Law and the Ethical Standards for Collaborative Professionals of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. SAMPLE ______________________________ Collaborative Divorce Coach for Wife ______________________________ _________________________________ Collaborative Divorce Coach for Husband _________________________________ Collaborative Financial Specialist Child Specialist Other Expert Professional Consultants: In signing below, each of us affirms our intent to proceed in a manner consistent with the letter and spirit of this document. _______________________________ ________________________________ Appraiser Vocational Consultant Participation Agreement Page 6 of 8 SAMPLE ONLY _______________________________ ________________________________ Accountant Mortgage Specialist _______________________________ ________________________________ Other Other SAMPLE Participation Agreement Page 7 of 8 SAMPLE ONLY RULES OF GOOD FAITH IN THE COLLABORATIVE PROCESS Please place your initials at the bottom of this page indicating you agree and understand. We encourage questions about these rules. 1. We agree to proceed in “Good Faith”. Good faith means to abide by the rules of common courtesy, keep an open mind, be willing to explore options without holding a fixed position, and share all pertinent information. 2. We agree to convert complaints into neutral requests to the best of our abilities, and to refrain from blaming and negative assumptions based on the past behavior of our partner. 3. We agree to work productively in the “here and now” keeping everyone’s future well being in mind. 4. We agree to share our most important priorities, goals, and concerns, so that they can be considered and addressed. We agree to take the priorities, goals, and concerns of our SAMPLE partner into account. 5. In communications outside of joint sessions, we agree to communicate respectfully, and to honor any requests to defer a discussion to a later time. 6. We agree not to threaten to withdraw from the Collaborative Law Process or to go to court as a means of achieving a desired outcome or forcing a settlement 7. We agree not to take advantage of inconsistencies, miscalculations, wrong assumptions or omissions of the other. Instead, we shall disclose them and seek to have them corrected at the earliest opportunity, and shall instruct our lawyers and the other professionals to do the same. 8. We agree to immediately voice to our own Lawyer any concerns or questions about the Collaborative Law Process. 9. We agree to not destroy any documents or data that could be relevant. ______ ______ Participation Agreement Page 8 of 8