It uses interest-based negotiations, where the parties share their underlying fears, goals and concerns (all referred to as interests) rather than demand a specific outcome. Often other collaboratively-trained professionals, such as family professionals and financial professionals, join the team to add expertise and efficiency to the process.
Once each party has shared his or her interests, issues that need to be resolved are identified and discussed. The parties then have the opportunity to create unique solutions that best suit them and their children.
How is the Collaborative approach different?
There are some basic differences between the collaborative approach and the traditional adversarial approach. In the collaborative process:
Both parties agree to stay out of court
The emphasis is on cooperation, not confrontation
All discussions of issues, option generation and solutions are made with all parties present
The primary objective of the team is to reach a settlement that is created by and acceptable to both parties and suitable for them and their children, as opposed to one that is imposed upon them by a judge
The clients and the interdisciplinary team of professionals work together to arrive at the best solution, as opposed to the parties' lawyers negotiating on their client's behalf, with each defending their position. This team of collaboratively-trained specialists can include a family professional (family or child therapist) who is included in the team as a neutral facilitator. In this role they can support clients with emotional issues, enhance communication between the team members and assist parents to develop healthy strategies for effective co-parenting.
What are the Benefits of Collaborative Law?
All parties, including children, benefit from the collaborative process:
The atmosphere is conducive to working together towards solutions, as opposed to the adversarial approach where each party presents their preferred position and then is either the “winner" or the “loser."
Interests, feelings and values are honoured and respected.
Where there is an amicable resolution resulting from a respectful process, there is less animosity and therefore more likelihood of a continuing respectful and courteous relationship, which is especially important when there are children of the marriage.
The process is relatively fast and efficient, and therefore less costly (both emotionally and financially) than litigation.
You know you will not end up in court.
For more information on the collaborative process, please click here.
Collaborative divorce, also referred to as collaborative law or collaborative practice, is a process whereby separating spouses and their collaboratively-trained lawyers agree to work together respectfully (collaborate) to create the best possible solution for the family as everyone transitions out of the marriage.