The Legislature finds that parties to family law actions often have particular needs and interests that may not be addressed through traditional litigation. The Legislature also finds that in the area of family law there may be an alternative approach to dispute resolution which targets settlement from the outset and which employs cooperative negotiation and problem solving that encourages compromise and direct communication among the parties.
(a) Collaborative law is a procedure in which parties who are involved in family law matters and the involved attorneys agree in writing to use their best efforts and make a good-faith attempt to resolve their disputes arising from family law matters on an agreed basis without resorting to judicial intervention, except to have a court approve the settlement agreement, make the legal pronouncements and sign the orders required by law to effectuate the agreement of the parties as the court determines appropriate.
(b) Several states have passed laws adopting collaborative law procedures. The Legislature requests that the Supreme Court of Appeals study the use of collaborative law procedures in the family courts of this state and, should the court find that the procedures would be an effective alternative approach to dispute resolution in family law matters, promulgate rules for the implementation of the collaborative law procedures. The Legislature further requests that the Supreme Court of Appeals present its findings and any rules promulgated to the Legislature at the regular session of the Legislature, 2009.