FAQ. Frequently Asked Questions.

I’m uncertain about collaborative—how do I know I will be protected?

You can rest assured that you will be protected.  Throughout the collaborative process, you maintain the support and advocacy of your attorney. One of Adrian’s clients had a similar question and describes her experience:

“I wasn’t yet convinced nor was I sure what a collaborative divorce really entailed…It all sounded good, yet I remained skeptical, feeling as though I was going to be unknowingly ‘cheated’ if I didn’t litigate…

[Adrian] listened and empathized.  She reassured me.  She further explained that she practiced collaborative divorce exclusively.  I could see why.  This woman was a peacemaker.  She exercised the highest degree of sensitivity…I knew immediately that I felt far better emotionally going this route…

The decision to go the collaborative route instantly reduced the hostility, defensiveness and fear between my ex-husband and me.  We had jointly made a decision to get through this difficult process as painlessly as possible.  The goal was no longer to blindfold each other and shoot mafia style.  Rather, the goal was to make the best of a bad situation…

It was at this point where I received the very best bit of advice out of the entire ordeal:

‘We’re not going to worry about what your ex has done or what your ex wants.  We’re going to worry about YOU, what you want, and what you need.’

Thanks to the collaborative process I can honestly say that even though the end of the marriage was emotionally difficult, the dissolution of the marriage was not.”

Read the full story — >

How do I choose between collaborative divorce and mediation?

Making the choice between collaborative divorce and mediation depends on your individual family situation.  In general, main difference is the fact that mediation does not provide legal advice.  Alternatively, with collaborative divorce, each person has the support of his or her own attorney.

The best way to discover which process meets the unique needs of your situation is to spend some time talking with Adrian so that she can work with you to decide on an approach that works well for you.

I’m currently in litigation. Can I still do collaborative?

Yes. Adrian has experience with parties that have participated in litigation, have recognized its destructive outcome and have sought to place the litigation process on hold, allowing them to resolve the issues outside of court.

Litigation often involves a lot of fighting in court, with each participant trying to get something from the other and generating animosity. Couples that divorce through litigation often find themselves back in court in the future.

On the other hand, collaboration can be a positive experience. Couples that have experienced the collaborative process find that they have become equipped with the skills necessary to find workable solutions.

Do I still get a Separation Agreement?

Yes. The collaborative process involves both spouses reaching resolution and signing a written separation agreement.

My spouse and I are currently living together. Do we have to live physically apart in order to do collaborative?

No. As a matter of fact, many people start the collaborative process while still living together so that the issues of cash flow, property and co-parenting can be addressed prior to separation.

We have decided on our attorneys, but when do we decide to involve other collaborative professionals?

Adrian will work with you to determine the best point in the process to incorporate any additional professional support.  Whether your situation would benefit from a child specialist, financial specialist or other professional, you and your family will have access to a wealth of care and support.

I want to do collaborative, but I am concerned that my spouse will not be reasonable.

The best way to find out if the collaborative method is a good choice for you and your spouse is to talk with Adrian about your situation and individual concerns. Choosing the collaborative method is not always the best fit in every circumstance, but Adrian can help you evaluate your options and choose the method that will be a good fit for your family.

How do I choose my attorney?

When deciding on someone to serve as your attorney, your choice should be based on communication, trust and the ability to build a working relationship that equips you with the resources you need to move forward.

I would like to work with Adrian, but I don’t live in the Triangle area.

Adrian is willing to travel anywhere in North Carolina within the area between Wilmington and Greensboro to meet with you about starting the collaborative law process.