What Skills Does a Collaborative Attorney Need?

Collaborative lawyers in North Carolina are a unique breed. These legal professionals bring a range of unique skills to the table, and it is important to understand what you should be looking for if you are searching for a collaborative lawyer. Choosing the right attorney to help with your divorce can be a difficult process, especially if you have never been through a divorce before. You may be unsure of what you should be looking for, which skills are important, and what kind of training or qualifications these legal professionals actually need.

In order to choose the best option, it is important to understand what collaborative divorce is at its core. This is a much more personal, “human” approach to ending a marriage compared to a traditional, trial-based divorce. Because of this, you may need an attorney who has skills that are different than those traditionally sought for a litigated divorce. At the end of the day, you need help from an attorney you can build a strong working relationship with - someone you can trust.

If you are considering whether or not a collaborative divorce is the right choice for you, you can book a consultation with a divorce attorney in North Carolina who has experience with this process. During your consultation, you can ask all the questions you need. You can also get a feel for how the process works, and what kind of unique skills a collaborative attorney will bring to the table. When you feel confident about collaborative divorce and you have established a greater understanding of how it works, it is easier to move forward.

Negotiation Skills

Perhaps the most obvious requirement for a good collaborative lawyer is an understanding of how to negotiate effectively. When most people think about negotiation, they are under the impression that you need to be tough and stubborn to succeed. While it is true that you should not cave in to unreasonable requests, the most effective negotiators know that the overall goal is to help both parties walk away feeling satisfied. In order to negotiate successfully, lawyers need to be intimately aware of both parties’ needs, goals, and priorities. They also need to be aware that many spouses are motivated primarily by emotional driving forces rather than logical ones. In turn, they need to understand how to appeal to these emotional needs.

Communication Skills

Collaborative attorneys must be excellent communicators. They must present their clients’ needs and priorities in a compelling manner, and they must also debate certain issues in an effective yet non-combative way.

Data Analysis

Just like a normal trial, a typical collaborative divorce involves plenty of documents and information that needs to be assessed, compiled, and analyzed. Collaborative attorneys must be able to view this information and determine what impact it might have on the negotiation process. They also need to be able to use certain documents to support the needs of their clients.

Providing Spouses With Creative Resolution Options

Collaborative attorneys often need to think outside of the box. In many situations, it can feel like there is no viable solution to a given dispute. However, a skilled attorney can suggest resolutions that neither spouse has considered before. The key thing is that they can present both spouses with numerous options. It should never feel like spouses are being pushed toward an ultimatum or a binary choice.

Interpersonal Skills

Trust and compassion may not seem very important to more logically-minded spouses, but these interpersonal, “soft” skills can be crucial in a collaborative divorce. Compared to a litigated divorce, you will work much more closely with your attorney in a collaborative divorce. A strong working relationship is crucial in this situation, and you will need to establish a strong sense of trust. For weeks or even months, it will just be you and your spouse in a room together, working out your issues. A more “human” approach is often needed in this type of scenario.

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today

If you have been searching the Charlotte, Mooresville or Monroe area for a qualified attorney who has experience with collaborative divorce, look no further than Arnold & Smith, PLLC. We can help spouses resolve their issues through this collaborative process. Over the years, we have also developed a number of effective strategies to help spouses compromise and come to agreements. Collaborative divorce is a unique process, and it requires a unique approach. Work with an attorney who has the right skills and qualifications, and you can avoid the breakdown of negotiations and deadlocks. Book your consultation today at 704.370.2828 and we can explain the entire collaborative divorce process in much more detail.