Collaborative Law vs. Traditional Litigation
Fighting. Chaos. Uncertainty. These are just a few of the words that describe what can happen when a marriage ends. The traditional divorce procedure − where each spouse hires an attorney to battle in court − only makes the situation worse.
Collaborative Law offers a different way for people to dissolve their marriage, a way that avoids the acrimony and bitterness that comes with litigation. In a collaborative divorce, each spouse hires his or her own attorney, but everyone agrees to stay out of court and resolve issues through respectful, constructive negotiation. In this way, divorce issues are decided without needless emotional trauma to the couple and to any children involved.
There Is a Better Way
Collaborative divorce is a relatively new development in family law. We want to highlight some of the ways in which the collaborative process differs from traditional litigation so you can understand why we believe collaborative law is superior.
- Control: Traditional divorce litigation gives a judge the power to decide your future, from child custody to property division to alimony. In a collaborative divorce, you and your spouse have control over your own outcome.
- Client focus: Simply put, the collaborative process is about you and your family. The process is tailored to truly helping you and meeting your needs. It is not about a lawyer building a reputation by “winning” a case.
- Communication: One key feature of collaborative law is that it teaches the couple how to communicate effectively and openly in order to resolve issues. This is completely the opposite of most litigation, in which communication is cut off in favor of secrecy, and that leads to more hostility.
- Cooperation: The essence of litigation is an adversarial, confrontational approach. Collaborative law, in contrast, encourages couples to cooperate in a respectful, useful way, preserving their emotional and mental health.
- A team of professionals: In a collaborative case, an entire team is working to help the couple reach a positive outcome. The typical team includes financial experts, mental health professionals and child specialists as necessary. Experts in litigation are hired separately, typically at great cost.
These are just a few of the reasons why we are convinced that collaborative divorce is the right choice for the vast majority of couples who are facing the end of their marriage. By confronting negative feelings in a nurturing environment, your divorce does not have to end with ill will and bitterness.