Collaborative Law

Collaborative law is a form of alternative dispute resolution in which parties may resolve disputes peacefully and respectfully without going to court. In the collaborative process, parties are represented by attorneys who assist them in reaching a settlement agreement.  This process is non-adversarial in that parties pledge not to go to court and begin the litigation process. 

Collaborative law is frequently used in family law situations such as divorce and custody disputes; however, collaborative law is also an effective means of resolving business disputes, and other civil disputes. 


The process works as follows:  Parties meet privately with their attorneys and then a four-way meeting is established to begin the problem-solving process.  Sometimes, additional professionals, who are also collaboratively trained, work with the parties by providing support in their various areas of expertise.  The professionals might be CPA’s, financial planners, mental health professionals or child specialists, to name a few.   


The core goal of the collaborative process is to promote mutual respect between the parties for the long term and, in family law cases, to protect the interests and well-being of children who might be involved.  In business settings, collaborative law helps to preserve business relationships and can provide a modicum of confidentiality, unlike litigation, while expediting a resolution. 


The collaborative process is different from the process of going to court in that, in the collaborative process, parties who choose to proceed collaboratively do not rely upon a judge to make the ultimate determination about the parties’ children, finances, and property. 


Ms. Andersen presently serves as the President of the Collaborative Professionals of Baltimore, a practice group that she co-founded in 2012. She is the current President of the Maryland Collaborative Practice Council, a not for profit association comprised of collaborative practice groups throughout Maryland, which is dedicated to supporting, connecting and uniting practice groups, for advocacy and expanded use of the Collaborative Process in Maryland.


Please click on the links page for resources on collaborative practice.