A skilled legal advisor guides you through every step of the process
A team can be designed to meet your unique financial and emotional needs
Because you are left with control over decision making, it can provide a greater sense of satisfaction and commitment to the agreements reached
It can be less time consuming that going to court
It can be less expensive than going to court
A collaborative solution can create better long-term result
A collaborative solution often results in a better long-term result
Why choose the Collaborative Process instead of Mediation?
Both Mediation and the Collaborative Separation/Divorce Process are out of court negotiation processes designed to meet the needs of the couple and their family. Mediation involves one neutral third-party (the Mediator) who facilitates the negotiation between the couple and who cannot advocate for either person. Legal advice is not built in to be a part of the mediation negotiations and instead, often comes at the end mediation or is an interruption in the mediation negotiations. In a Collaborative Divorce legal representation is provided during the negotiations. Each party is represented and supported by their own lawyer throughout.
There is no requirement for Mediators to also be lawyers. Even if a Mediator is a lawyer they cannot be a legal advocate for you. In the Collaborative Process, you and your spouse each have your own lawyer who was received special training to advise you about legal rights and obligations while advocating for your interests and needs in a non-adversarial negotiation designed to get you to agreement. A collaborative lawyer’s only goal is to support you to reach an Agreement that meets your needs.
Why choose the Collaborative Process instead of Court-Based Approaches?
Formal court processes are often very costly and lengthy and are designed to have a judge decide who “wins” and who “loses”. Not everything that is important to you may be relevant to the lawyers or the judges and you have little control over how decisions are made, when they are made and what information is used to make those decisions.
Court processes are adversarial in nature. The communications between lawyers, lack of client control and lack of transparency can create greater conflict. In contrast, Collaborative Professionals work together in a team model to contain (not inflame) conflict while working towards future-focused solutions.
Court processes are designed for decisions to be made by a judge who knows very little about you, your future goals and your family’s needs. When the court relies on professional experts to make its decision those experts are often aligned with one side or the other and battles between the experts can occur that create more conflict, increase the cost to you and make the dispute lengthy. In contrast, in the Collaborative Process you, along with your lawyer, can build your own team choosing from divorce coaches, financial divorce specialists, accountants, business valuators, appraisers or child specialists. These Collaborative Professionals, who would never testify against you, would work with you to meet the needs and and well-being of everyone impacted by the divorce or separation while empowering you to make good decisions about your future.
Is Collaborative Divorce Right for You?