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People are reading these posts which tell you to avoid shark or bulldog attorneys, but some of you are not asking the right questions and end up retaining them anyway. These are the questions to ask:

-How much of your practice is peacemaking (mediation or collaborative) and how much is litigation?
-How often are you hired as a mediator rather than a litigating attorney?
-What are your most recent trainings for mediation and/or collaborative law? How long was each training?
-How do you serve the petition papers on the other person for a collaborative divorce case?
-How many times have you used a collaboratively trained divorce coach?
-Which collaborative protocols do you use?

You want to look for a peacemaker who attends mediation and/or collaborative training no less than once every 2-3 years. These trainings are 2-5 days each. It is necessary to attend multiple trainings in order to make the shift from cut-throat litigator to peacemaker. This is a more difficult shift for some attorneys. In fact, while some attorneys believe themselves to be peacemakers, they only add more stress to a case that could be solved more amicably and make clients second-guess whether peacemaking is an effective process.

Petition papers really should not be served by personal service if the parties agree to mediate or collaborate. Personal service is for a party who is not committed to peacemaking.

Good collaborative attorneys work with divorce coaches and encourage the use of them from the beginning. Divorce coaches handle all of the emotional aspects of the divorce. In litigation, the attorneys wing it and try to solve the emotional problems themselves. However, we attorneys are not trained to handle emotional issues the way that a divorce coach is and we should be humble enough know that.

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