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Collaborative Method

Posted by Heidi Risser
on October 16, 2014

The Collaborative method of resolving family law matters is very different from litigation. First, the Collaborative method involves signing a Collaborative Agreement. In the Collaborative Agreement, both parties and their collaborative attorneys agree to share information openly, to negotiate in good faith, and not to litigate. If the matter does not settle, both parties must find new attorneys. This way, both the parties and the lawyers have “skin in the game.” Next, both parties and their lawyers begin to meet. We call these 4-way meetings. The issues are discussed, information and documents are exchanged, and possible solutions are presented. Along the way, other professionals may be called in to help the parties resolve any differences, such as: financial advisors, tax experts, child therapists, or mediators. Once the issues have been resolved, final settlement documents are prepared and signed by the parties. Risser Law offers the Collaborative method to every case in which it is appropriate and prefers this method of settling family differences.

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Children Don’t Get to Choose

Posted by Heidi Risser
on September 18, 2014

Many people believe there is a “magic age” at which children can choose which parent they live with or whether they visit a parent at all.  The perceived age ranges from twelve to fifteen.  People think, “By fifteen, certainly my child can choose not to see my ex, right?”  Wrong.  In North Carolina, children do not have that choice until they are eighteen, in other words, until they are legally adults.  Until that time, courts generally encourage children to spend time with both parents.  Sometimes, when one parent is extremely resistant to the child seeing the other parent, a court will insist the child spend time with the other parent.

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