The Act also specifies events that trigger the end of the family collaborative law process. Specifically, the process concludes upon a resolution as to the family law dispute evidenced by a signed settlement agreement. Additionally, the process will terminate upon notice by one party to the other, filing a document with a court or tribunal absent an agreement to do so, entry of a restraining order in favor of one party against another party to the process, filing an emergent application or failing to provide information required for the process. The process will also terminate if a family collaborative lawyer is discharged or ceases representation of their client. Thereafter, a lawyer associated with the same firm as the family collaborative lawyer cannot represent either party in the family law dispute or a proceeding related to the collaborative law process.
Ultimately, the Family Collaborative Law Act provides a unique opportunity for parties to a family law dispute who wish to avoid litigation, as well as provides significant protections for the parties and nonparty participants who are involved with the process.
1 Per the New Jersey Family Collaborative Law Act, a tribunal other than the court includes “…an arbitrator or administrative agency, as applicable, that after presentation of evidence or legal argument, has jurisdiction to render a decision affecting a party’s interest in a matter.”