Collaborative law is a relatively new way to help couples resolve disputes outside the court room. This technique aims to problem-solve and find solutions that work rather than to fight or argue, and aim to win. In collaborative law cases, both parties still need to have separate attorneys to protect their own interests. Each attorney will be tasked with helping the couple settle the dispute without having to go to court.
If a couple agrees to the collaborative law method, they are unable to go to court. If they decide to turn to the court for help, their attorneys will be disqualified from working on the case and the collaborative process will end immediately.
What are the primary aspects of collaborative law?
In collaborative law, there are a few rules and requirements. These include:
- Disclosing all documents and information related to the disputes or issues they’re working through.
- Sharing experts, such as parenting consultants or appraisers, whenever their help is needed.
- Respecting each other during the process and avoiding vilifying or disparaging either party.
- Insulating any children involved in the divorce and taking steps to minimize the divorce’s impact on them.
- Looking for win-win solutions when possible.
- Being cooperative means finding amicable solutions that both parties are happy with.
- Avoiding court. If you do end up turning to court, the collaborative process will end. Neither party should seek or threaten court action to end disputes.
Should you try collaborative law or turn to the court for help?
When you look at the statistics, the majority of divorce cases are able to be resolved through mediation, arbitration or other means than court.
Collaborative law doesn’t work for everyone, but it can be a good solution for couples who are willing to work together and who want to stay out of the court room. The collaborative law process can help you save time, money and avoid the stress of having to deal with a divorce trial.
With all divorces, the legal issues are complex, and there many be some issues with which you need more support than others. Your attorney will be on your side throughout the collaborative law process, helping you understand how certain agreements could work in your favor and informing you if a suggestion made isn’t going to be beneficial. With support in understanding the law and help reaching a fair solution, you’re more likely to be satisfied at the end of your divorce.