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