In the Divorce context and possibly probate/family disputes, and certain employment disputes, Collaborative Law is worthy of consideration. Collaborative Law is a process that has all participants, the disputants, the lawyers, coaches all commit to settlement through negotiations taking place. The purpose is that everyone involved only sees and works towards settlement and not position for a future litigation as sometimes naturally occurs in a traditional settlement/litigation setting.
What is important for the disputants to consider when weighing a collaborative approach is the emotional trauma that impacts everyone in the family and friends surrounding the divorce. The collaborative law settlement option is comprehensive in that it provides for all individuals impacted with a representative. This means simply each disputant has their own counsel, their own parenting coach, a financial coach and a child coach if needed. Experts have found when all perspectives are heard and factored into each key settlement provisions, a more balanced agreement is reached. Conflict resolution theorists call this a triangle of satisfaction: participants are satisfied with how the process was conducted, the substantive discussions and outcomes, and how psychologically it felt. Collaborative law meets all these standards.
The collaborative process is designed to meet the dynamics and needs of the family in dispute. In collaborative law there is no formal discovery as there is in a litigated-court oriented process. By agreement and cooperation, the parties decide what is essential for determining a durable and sustaining agreement. This effort alone saves thousands of dollars in often unnecessary legal fees and emotional cost.