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Badge - Rated by Super Lawyers Anthony P. Kearns third
Badge - Million Dollar Advocates Forum
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Badge - New Jersey Supreme Court Certified Attorney
Badge - New Jersey's Best Lawyers For Families 2018
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Please click Award & Selection Criteria & Methodology for information regarding the specific criteria used for selection of each of the above awards.

Collaborative Divorce

What is collaborative law?

Collaborative law is one of the available options for resolving a divorce matter. It is an alternative to litigation, mediation and arbitration. This process seeks to divorce spouses with minimal economic, social and emotional negative consequences to the parties and their family.

In the collaborative process, each spouse retains a collaborative attorney to advocate for his or her interests. The parties and their attorneys sign an agreement which commits them to working together to derive the best agreement for them and their children without resorting to litigation. Should either party seek to commence litigation, both parties must terminate the process and their collaborative attorneys must withdraw from representation. Both parties will then have to retain new attorneys to represent them in the litigation process. Moreover, if the process is unsuccessful, the parties’ discussions, partial agreements or positions, and any document produced in the collaborative process are excluded and inadmissible in the litigation setting.

During the collaborative negotiations, parties may choose to retain collaboratively-trained, financial experts and mental health experts to assist them in creating options for resolution. Mental health experts assist the parties in effective communication and expression of ideas and may act as the voice for the children of the marriage to help to draft a custody and parenting plan. These professionals work for both parties and are retained if the need arises. If necessary, these professionals also participate in conferences with the parties and their attorneys.

How does the Collaborative Process Work?

Parties participating in collaborative divorce work together in a non-adversarial way to negotiate solutions. The parties agree to communicate effectively, respectfully and constructively, while expressing their concerns, goals, needs and ideas.

Most settlement discussions are held by all parties involved and with the assistance of financial and mental health professionals if necessary. The parties are encouraged to communicate effectively throughout the divorce process so that they can maintain a healthy relationship with each other and the family after the divorce.

The timetable of a collaborative divorce is controlled entirely by the parties. There are no mandatory court appearances and court submissions, keeping the process private, and the parties can direct the speed at which the divorce proceeds without penalties. For this reason, this process is generally less costly than litigation, although even in litigation the costs can be minimized when the parties cooperate.

For more information on collaborative law and local collaborative law professionals, please visit the following websites:

If you are interested in collaborative divorce, contact Kearns Rotolo Law for additional information.

What Our Clients are Saying

I was very proud to be represented by Tony and felt secure at a time I needed a compass to head out of a difficult bind. Confidence in your counsel and a sense of security in understanding how best to proceed are important reasons to consider Anthony Kearns and his team of outstanding lawyers.

- Lynn

Tony was excellent! He was knowledgeable, responsive and on-time. His experience as a County Prosecutor definitely helped our case as he knows how the legal system works and how to navigate. I highly recommend Tony and his office.

- Matt

Thankfully I found Kearns Rotolo Law and I had a wonderful experience working with Charles Rifici on a difficult divorce/child custody issue. I am so grateful for all the work and guidance he provided. He always took his time and diligently went through all my options with me so I could make the decisions that benefitted my family and I. I will be forever thankful for the top notch services he provided.

- Cinthya

In March of 2022 I contacted Kearns Rotolo Law Firm with an urgent problem, Mr. Kearns and Mr. Rotolo contacted me immediately to give me hope as to rectify my problem. The end result was Mr Kearns was able to solve my issue through extreme professionalism, I am very grateful I found Kearns Rotolo Law firm and I would recommend their law firm to anyone that has a less extreme problem or a more complex problem, I am very grateful for their services.

- Bill

I met with Mr. Kearns yesterday about a devastating situation affecting our family. Mr. Kearns and his entire staff made us feel extremely comfortable and showed our family a compassionate side that gave us comfort in the most uncomfortable of situations. Thank you very much. God Bless.

- Christian