Monday, April 2, 2012

How Fast is Collaborative Law?

Here's a quick answer.

  • The Collaborative Law process is NOT FAST.  When you are dealing with significant assets and important family relationships, it is not prudent to make snap decisions.  When there are important matters to decide, be prepared to take an appropriate amount of time to analyze the situation and then come to a decision.  This is not a short-cut process where we guess about things and seriously consider other options.  If you are in a huge hurry, don't waste your time on Collaborative.
  • Collaborative Law is probably/usually faster than litigation.  The key information is that most contested litigated cases take a long time to resolve.  They often take a year or more.  Collaborative cases are almost always resolved much quicker than that.  On the other hand, if the case if very complicated, the parties have special needs to be addressed or family events get in the way (marriage, death, job loss, etc.), the process can be drawn out.  In most cases, however, Collaborative will be FASTER (although not fast).
  •  It's not really possible to compare how a case would turn out in Collaborative Law versus how it would run in litigation.  We can't get the facts of your case and then tell you with any accuracy how it would play out in each process.  Once a case starts in either process, new events change the facts and attitudes, and decisions are made based on changing circumstances.  Each decision leads us down a different path.  Both processes involve us continually making new decisions, based on new facts and new perspectives, resulting in us going in new directions.  Cases  aren't handled the same ways in both processes, so there's no easy comparison between them.  Similarly, you can't compare your Collaborative case to someone else's Collaborative case, just like no two litigated cases are the same.
While I stand by the conclusion that Collaborative Law is not FAST, I still believe it is the best process for resolving family law issues for a great number of people.  If you have concerns about what the best approach is for you to take, consult with a Collaborative Law trained lawyer.  We don't recommend the process for everyone, but it might be a good fit for you!

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