Collaborative Law Introduction
Collaborative Law is our preferred method of dispute resolution, although it will not work for everyone. It does require that both attorneys be specially trained in Collaborative Law and we recommend that the parties work with a neutral mental health professional/communication coach to help them through the emotional difficulties of the process. While the process is usually less stressful and damaging than litigation, there can be difficult times when the parties get upset or struggle with decisions. We will advise you as to whether Collaborative Law would be appropriate in your case.
How Collaborative is Different
Some attorneys try to say that Collaborative Law is really no different from what they do all the time: negotiate. While attorneys almost always will negotiate and often will settle a case before trial, there are significant differences between that approach and true Collaborative Law.
- In Collaborative Law, we negotiate directly and from the beginning.
- We set out the goals for both parties at the outset and we always focus on achieving the goals of both parties, rather than attaining an arbitrary percentage of the assets or using standardized (“one size fits all”) guidelines for support or access to the children.
- We don’t attack each other in words and actions; this is a more civilized approach.
- We cooperate in gathering and sharing information.
- We use neutral experts, not only for valuation purposes, but to assist in dealing with communication issues and in analyzing the financial details of the negotiations.
- We follow a 5-step process to create agreements.
- Most importantly, the incentive for the parties and attorneys to work hard and stay with the process is that the attorneys must withdraw and the parties must hire different attorneys, if the process breaks down.
Ask a Trained Attorney
The attorneys who say that Collaborative Law is no different than what they have always done, have not been to a 2-day basic training to really learn and understand the process. It is best to talk to a qualified Collaborative lawyer to find out what the process is about and how it works.
Or Check These Web Sites
More information on the process is available in one of the main sections of this Web site as well as in the Blog that can be accessed through the Web site, or through the following Web sites: