Saturday, October 1, 2016

Why Should You Try Collaborative Law?

If you are facing a divorce and you are trying to decide how to proceed, you might be interested to know some of the advantages of Collaborative Law.  See if any of these appeal to you.  If so, you should consult with an experienced Collaborative lawyer and discuss whether the process could work to your benefit.  Here are some topics to discuss with an attorney.

  • Privacy.  In litigation, you have a lot of pleadings filed that are public records and hearings held in open courts.  In Collaborative Law, the process is handled by having a series of short, private meetings (not at the Courthouse).  The work is conducted quietly and privately.  When the agreement is finalized, there is a prove-up at the Courthouse, but it is a minimal, routine appearance. Discussions are held in private and documents are kept private.
  • Control over the outcome.  Instead of having a Judge make interim and final decisions, the parties make their own decisions all along.
  • Professional assistance.  Each party has their own attorney and there are a neutral financial advisor and a neutral therapist to help the parties with financial issues and communication and children's issues.
  • Focus on important issues.  At the outset, the parties express their personal goals, needs and interests and then the process focuses on achieving  what each party wants.  Both parties can get their needs met most of the time. 
  • Both parties are benefited.  By focusing on what's important for both parties, both become satisfied.
  • Civilized approach.  Collaborative trades in the experiences of trials, testimony, depositions and formal discovery for short meetings that follow an agenda and focus on the important issues that benefit both parties.  We do not participation in the typical "beat down" of many litigated cases. The parties are on their best behavior and the neutral therapist ensures that they behave and function well in the process. It is a much less stressful process.
  • Improve communications.  One of the side benefits of the process is that the parties usually learn better listening and communication skills with the help of the therapist and we don't just divide everything in two.
  • Creative solutions.  In Collaborative cases, we are open to any proposals. We do not automatically default to the guidelines for child support or possession schedules, for example.  We are free to invent new approaches as long as they help the parties meet their needs.
  • Can protect assets.  We have great flexibility to deal with assets and take actions to help the parties meet their needs.  Our negotiations are interest-based, rather than positional.  That means that we always focus on the underlying interests or needs of each party instead of starting with arbitrary positions so we can end up with an arbitrary result in the middle.  The middle may not be a good solution.
  • It can move as quickly or slowly as the parties want.  Actually, we move a quickly as the slower party wants to go, but the difference is that we are not bound by an arbitrary court schedule imposed by the Judge who rarely considered the circumstances of the parties. 
 If you think any of these advantages of Collaborative Law appeal to you, meet with a trained Collaborative lawyer who can help you decide if your case would be appropriate.

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