Collaborative Practice

Sarah L. Wright is trained in the collaborative divorce process. Collaborative Practice is changing the way that family disputes are being resolved throughout the United States. It is a new way for a divorcing couple to work as a team with trained professionals, to resolve disputes respectfully, without going to court. The Collaborative Process can also be utilized by non-married partners, either before or post-judgment. The Collaborative Process is an alternative dispute resolution option that empowers people to resolve their own disputes in a creative and lasting manner. It offers a community of legal, mental health and financial professionals working together to guide, support, and educate clients as they seek to make informed, voluntary, and mutually acceptable decisions about their future without using the court system.

In a Collaborative case, the parties sign a written agreement to fully disclose all relevant information and to not go to court. Each party has their own attorney with them every step of the way. All negotiations are done with both parties and their attorneys present. In most Collaborative Process cases, the Firm strongly recommends that each party have their own mental health coach. The coach is not the party's therapist. Rather, the coach helps the parties communicate more effectively with one another and work through the emotional issues that are related to their case. The goal of the coaching is to help each party come to the negotiation table ready and able to communicate effectively to resolve their issues. The process may also include a child specialist and/or a neutral financial specialist. Importantly, when a child specialist is utilized in a Collaborative Process case, it provides children with a voice.

Each professional in a Collaborative Process case is looking out for the welfare of the entire family. Because the Collaborative Process allows each professional to stay within the scope of their professional competence, it maximizes the parties' financial resources. This approach creates a supportive, problem-solving environment where the clients can negotiate their own agreements face to face, assisted by their team of professionals.

The goal of the Collaborative Process is to help divorcing couples work to achieve a mutually acceptable settlement that minimizes the negative financial, social and emotional consequences the family often experiences in the traditional adversarial process. The Collaborative Process represents an opportunity for clients to achieve their best at a time when circumstances frequently encourage fear of the worst. Through professional teamwork that involves clients working as partners, the possibilities for successful resolution are maximized.

The Collaborative Process removes the threat of "going to court." Because all of the Collaborative Professionals must withdraw if either party chooses to litigate, there are built-in financial, time, and emotional incentives for the parties to work together towards a mutually acceptable resolution of their issues.

For more information on how the Collaborative Process would be effective in resolving your family law issue, please contact Sarah L. Wright at (520) 512-5444.  For more information on the Collaborative Process, please view the following websites: and


Sarah L. Wright has mediated numerous cases since 2007. Mediation is a non-adversarial, flexible, and confidential alternative dispute resolution process. The mediator is a neutral facilitator and does not impose a decision on the parties. Instead, the mediator assists the parties in making their own decisions and developing a written agreement resolving all issues in their case. In mediation, the parties control their outcome. Because both parties are working with the same base of information, it usually takes far less time to negotiate a mutually acceptable resolution. As a result, mediation is typically a more cost-effective alternative to litigation. Additionally, in mediation, settlement agreements are more comprehensive than judgments obtained by going to court. In general, we recommend that each party retain an attorney to provide legal advice throughout the mediation process and to provide independent legal advice before signing your settlement agreement.

In a family law case, mediation gives you and your current or former spouse a way to settle conflicts in a way that helps you communicate more effectively and work together as co-parents after your divorce or post-judgment. Mediation can make it easier to move forward and accept the past, rather than turning hurt and anger into an expensive court battle. The open and free exchange of information frees up both spouses to negotiate with each other in confidence.

Domestic Relations

The Firm is experienced and knowledgeable in domestic relations matters. We represent husbands and wives, and fathers and mothers in all aspects of family law, including dissolution, legal separation, and annulment, addressing issues such as property division, child custody, parenting access, the establishment, modification, and enforcement of child support and spousal maintenance, and other post-decree matters.

We have the experience necessary to assertively negotiate settlement agreements and take cases to trial where necessary. We bring to every case a personal commitment to obtaining the best possible result for our clients. We are accessible and responsive, carefully selecting the volume of our cases thus enabling our attorneys to devote the necessary time to effectively represent each client. Whether negotiating a settlement or in trial, our firm brings a depth of creativity, competence, integrity and understanding unmatched elsewhere.

In addition, we prepare prenuptial agreements, providing sound legal advice to clients contemplating marriage. Individuals considering marriage who have children from a prior marriage, who own an interest in a business, or who have substantial property, should receive legal advice from our firm about whether a prenuptial agreement makes sense for them.

Our Firm is uniquely qualified to handle complex domestic relations cases. While trying cases is a particular strength, we care about our clients and understand the economic and emotional value in resolving family law matters short of litigation. When possible and appropriate, we negotiate settlements that can avoid the expense and disruption of courtroom proceedings while ensuring that our client's interests are protected. Our skill in utilizing alternative dispute resolution processes is strengthened by our specialized training in mediation, in the collaborative divorce process and our arbitration experience. We have an impressive track-record of achieving pre-trial settlements for our clients. Through our trial experience, strong record in alternative dispute resolution, and advanced information technology systems, we strive to protect your legal rights.

Our Firm is committed to providing our clients with the information and knowledge necessary to reaching a long-term optimal resolution of their family law issues. We believe that highly adversarial and protracted litigation in this area of the law, (though sometimes unavoidable), is most often counterproductive. In cases involving children, parties need to remember that they will be co-parenting for years to come. Unfortunately, after litigating these types of cases, parties typically feel unsatisfied with the process and may return to court again and again post-decree or post-judgment. We thus encourage and work toward a settlement of domestic disputes whenever possible. However, when settlement cannot be achieved, we have the experience and sensitivity to successfully represent our clients in court.

The Firm's lawyers can mediate or arbitrate your family law dispute. We are also available to assist clients in a referral or team based collaborative divorce.