The Charlotte Collaborative Divorce Law’s origins grew from a local effort to codify one of the first collaborative law statutes in the nation when an ad hoc committee through the Family Law Section of the State Bar was established in 2000. This ad hoc committee’s push ultimately led North Carolina to become the second state to enact a Collaborative Law statute in 2003.
With the enactment of the statute, the ad hoc committee quickly transformed its focus from legislation to the promotion of the Collaborative Divorce process in the Charlotte metropolitan area with the formation of the Mecklenburg County Collaborative Law Practice Group. By 2003, the group’s membership swelled to over 36 lawyers. Shortly thereafter, the group began to add critical non-attorney members, such as divorce coaches and financial neutrals, to provide specialized non-legal expert advice to assist couples going through a divorce. Since then, the group has added Child Specialists to assist families with issues related to the children of divorcing families.
Throughout its existence, the group has been active in promoting a dignified non-adversarial alternative to the traditional adversarial Divorce approaches. The group’s members have spoken to local religious institutions and mental health providers and presented education classes for professionals. In an attempt to reach the broader Charlotte Community on the advantages of Collaborative Approach, the group was even featured on NPR’s Charlotte Talks.
Now over twenty years later, the group continues to grow to meet the needs of families going through a divorce. The group meets quarterly for training to keep abreast of current issues related to Collaborative Family Law and develop tactics to improve the Collaborative Law process. Although the group changed its name to the Charlotte Collaborative Divorce Professionals, Inc. in 2016, it continues to educate and promote Collaborative Family Law as a better and more effective process for reaching a long-lasting resolution for divorcing families.