What types of cases do you take?
We handle a variety of family matters that include: child custody, child support, divorce (even if you have not been separated for a year), dissolution of long-term partnerships, and modification of prior child custody and child support orders or agreements.
Do you work with same-sex couples?
Yes. The Collaborative Project assists same-sex couples with family law matters that include custody, child support, and dissolution of long-term partnerships.
What if I already have a lawyer?
To use the Collaborative Process for dispute resolution you must work with an attorney who is Collaboratively trained. If you currently have an attorney and are interested in the Collaborative Process, ask your attorney if he/she is Collaboratively trained. You may also contact the Collaborative Project of Maryland to see whether you are eligible for low bono or pro bono services.
What if the other party already has a lawyer?
To use the Collaborative Process for dispute resolution, both attorneys must be Collaboratively trained. Please contact the Collaborative Project to see whether you are eligible for low bono or pro bono services and to discuss how to determine whether the other attorney is Collaboratively trained or to discuss other options.
What if one party lives out of state?
The Collaborative Project of Maryland is able to help parties who live in Maryland. In order for the Collaborative Project to help with a case, both parties must meet the Project’s income qualifications. If the other party lives outside of Maryland, the Collaborative Project may still be able to assist the party who lives in Maryland. Please contact the Collaborative Project to find out what options are available.
What is the difference between Collaborative Practice and mediation?
Both Collaborative Practice and mediation are out-of-court, alternative dispute resolution processes that involve parties and professionals working together to reach agreement. A key component of Collaborative Practice is that each party has an attorney by his or her side throughout the process, as well as the option to use mental health coaches, child specialists, financial neutrals, or other neutral experts to assist in the process as needed.
For more information about the differences between Collaborative Practice and mediation, please see the Maryland Collaborative Practice Council website: http://www.marylandcollaborativepractice.com/what_isthedifference.php
Can my Collaborative attorney represent me in court?
Your Collaborative attorney may not represent you in court in any contested proceeding. Your Collaborative attorney may only represent you in court in an uncontested proceeding, such as entering an order by consent. Your attorney cannot represent you in court if you are not able to reach an agreement using the Collaborative process.
How many hours does a case typically take?
The amount of time that each case takes varies. Attorneys and other professionals assigned to your case through the Collaborative Project have committed to work on your case for at least 30 hours, and it is in the professionals’ discretion whether to spend time beyond that amount.
Why do both parties need to meet the income qualifications?
The mission of the Collaborative Project is to provide access to Collaborative Practice to individuals of modest means in Maryland. To ensure that the Project can accomplish this mission, the Project must consider total household income and other resources. Therefore, we require both parties to meet the income qualifications.