Areas of Practice
Contact Information
Karen D. Julian, R.N., J.D.
Karen D. Julian Law Offices, S.C.
Madison, Wisconsin 53711
Telephone: (608) 219-8619
Fax: (608) 236-4837


Collaborative Law

(These materials are for informational purposes only, to help you recognize your legal rights and responsibilities. They are not a substitute for speaking with an attorney regarding your specific circumstances.)

In collaborative law, a team of professionals helps parties reach a resolution of issues between them without the threat of litigation. Separating or divorcing couples may use collaborative law to deal with co-parenting, financial, legal, and emotional issues. The collaborative model also works well for unmarried couples who are separating and have property and/or child issues, and for couples who are crafting premarital agreements or who wish to purchase and own real estate together.

Each person retains an attorney who is trained in the collaborative process. The parties and their attorneys sign an agreement that includes promises to be forthright and committed to the process and to refrain from using the court system to resolve any disputes. The parties reach agreement on the issues between them in a series of settlement conferences with the two of them and their collaborative counsel, often with the assistance of other collaborative team members. If one party later decides to quit the collaborative process, then each party’s collaborative attorney must withdraw, and the parties must seek separate litigation counsel. This requirement provides strong incentive for all involved to remain in the collaborative model until all of the couple’s issues are resolved.

Other potential team members include mental health professionals who may serve as coaches or child specialists, and financial specialists. Although the parties work with a team, this model can be cost-effective, in that the entire team is focused on helping the parties reach an agreement. Attorney time and client funds are not spent preparing for court proceedings. Instead, the team works to help the couple reach a resolution of their issues which meets the needs of all family members while still minimizing the negative emotional and economic consequences of the separation or divorce.

Karen D. Julian has had substantial training in the collaborative family law model, and she is deeply committed to helping her clients resolve their issues effectively, creatively, and in a mutually respectful manner, using the principles of the collaborative model. To find more information about collaborative law, please follow this link to the Collaborative Family Law Page.  Also see the web site for the Collaborative Family Law Council of Wisconsin at, as well as the web site for  the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals at