Ohio’s Collaborative Family Law Act was enacted by the Ohio legislature in December, 2012. As part of that Act, the Ohio legislature bestowed two special benefits upon those who participate in a collaborative divorce process in Ohio.
To encourage couples to settle their divorce matters through the more private and more respectful collaborative process, and to promote the transparency the process requires, the Act creates a brand new evidentiary privilege to protect all “collaborative family law communications.” The Act defines a “collaborative family law communication” as any statement – made during a collaborative process — that is made for the purpose of conducting, participating in, continuing, or reconvening that collaborative process. With the benefit of this privilege, everyone who participates in the collaborative divorce process is free to speak openly and candidly without fear of reprisal.
In addition, the Ohio legislature recognized that couples who have successfully completed a collaborative process have made well-informed decisions and have voluntarily entered into a settlement with counsel present at all times and without undue influence or coercion. As a result, the Act allows Courts to schedule the hearing to terminate the marriage at its earliest available date and without any need to comply with the minimum 30-day cooling off period that is mandated for all other divorce matters.
To learn more about the Collaborative Divorce option, please contact our office to schedule an appointment.
BRIAN URBAN & BRIDGETTE POZZUTO
Cleveland’s Collaborative Divorce Attorneys