Comparing Collaborative Law

Court Process

Collaborative Law Process

process is governed by Rules of Procedure that create artificial time frames for final resolution of issues

process is governed by the terms of the Participation Agreement and the parties set their own timelines for resolution of the issues

process contains many steps which may not be necessary for the majority of family situations

process is much more efficient and meetings are only called as needed

potential for much miscommunication because each party only communicates with his/her lawyer and may never understand the other person’s legal position until court

there is much less miscommunication because each party’s legal position is made known from the outset and the parties decide how to resolve any differences in the parties’ positions

ultimate decision in hands of a judge who has no knowledge of the family situation or of the parties themselves

ultimate decision on all matters is totally in the control of the parties with independent legal advice from their own lawyers

lack of creativity in final decision because judge is bound by previous court decisions

parties and lawyers are able to find more creative solutions to financial and custodial problems

there is always a winner and a loser and children lose out no matter what happens

both parties win because they are in control of the decision-making process in a less stressful environment which is better for both and is better for children

court process is public

collaborative process is totally private