When you are involved in a divorce, you may ask yourself questions. You may wonder where you can turn and what you can do to move on with your case. If you have children involved, you may be seeking a different experience than just traditional court. You may want to explore other options and be asking yourself what is collaborative law?
Collaborative law (CL) is a new way to resolve disputes by removing the courtroom setting. In this method, both parties will retain separate attorneys. If anybody chooses to go to court at any time throughout the process, the process will be terminated.
What is involved in a contractual agreement in Collaborative Law?
- Disclosure of Documents: Each party will need to be honest about any documents and information involved that can relate to the issues at hand. Neither spouse can take advantage of the other when it comes to any mistakes, and errors will be corrected.
- Respect: Each party will need to act respectfully throughout the process.
- Insulating Children: Both participants will agree to insulate the children from the proceeding and to act in such a way to minimize the impact of the divorce on them.
- Sharing Experts: The parties will agree to implement outside experts where necessary in a cooperative fashion and share the costs relating to the experts.
- Win-Win Solutions: The primary goal is to reach a win-win situation on both ends.
- No Court: Neither party may seek or threaten court action to resolve the disputes at hand. If they do decide to go to court, the attorneys must withdraw and the process will continue in the court system.
Why is it Beneficial to Collaborate?
When it all boils down to it, litigation in a courtroom is really an old-fashioned way to resolve a dispute. Alternative dispute resolution can be way more beneficial in many different ways. The first thing that one may want to consider is how collaboration differs from litigation. Collaboration is just not an option to those who feel the need to fight or use the weapons of motions, hearings, and evidence. Collaboration is reasonable and offers alternative ways to settle and keep both parties the most content.
Another benefit to collaborative law is that the collaborative process offers divorcing parties the opportunity to work out the terms of their divorce privately. Sensitive issues can be addressed together without the ugliness of court, such as mental health problems, infidelity, and substance abuse issues. This is the right process choice for the couple that has a strong interest in handling issues in private and as quietly as possible.
Collaboration also offers flexibility. Financial arrangements can be handled in stages during this process. Urgent matters can be addressed promptly. When it comes to custody agreements, they can be tried out and fine-tuned until both parties are content with the outcome. Instead of court orders being addressed by a judge, the parties are able to maintain full control of their finances and support obligations.
Collaborative Law vs. Mediation
In the mediation process, a couple will first meet with a neutral third party. They then go on to discuss and resolve the terms of the divorce. The mediator involved doesn’t represent either party and is not to give legal advice; instead, their role is to help bring communication between the parties and assist the parties in considering and resolving issues that must be addressed. The parties will typically mediate without their attorneys. At the end of the process, if an agreement is reached, the mediator will prepare a written agreement in which the couple can file with the court as part of the divorce.
On the other hand, the process of collaborative law involves each client retaining an attorney who is trained in this method. Both parties and lawyers will sign a contract together that will include a provision that discusses that the lawyers will withdraw from the process if the party on either side decides to go to court. The contract will require the parties to make a commitment to voluntarily exchange information and hire joint experts. This process will proceed through structured meetings and both parties will discuss and hopefully resolve the issues at hand in the divorce process with the help of their attorneys.
Collaborative Law in Employment Disputes
Many people ask themselves, when dealing with employment disputes, “is it a good idea to use a fairly new process such as collaborative law when it doesn’t have a track record like litigation does?” Yes, collaborative law is fairly new – it was started in 1990. However, mediation has become the process of choice for most parties involved in disputes. The reason why? Litigation is more expensive, takes longer, is more draining, and can be more damaging to relationships. CL is seen as more efficient for many reasons. You are also able to control the privacy of the situation and this is a wonderful thing.
Furthermore, many people wonder if, they use CL, they will be viewed by employees as easy settle. They then believe that many employees will want to bring claims so that they can get a quick settlement without going through litigation. This is a misconception, however. CL lawyers do a screening of all cases to see if they are more fit for CL or litigation, and will not lead you in the wrong direction. When an employer gets a letter from one of these lawyers, the case has therefore been screened and approved as a good candidate.
Collaborative Law in Civil Disputes
Why would collaborative law be a good consideration in civil disputes? There are many reasons. CL is an approach that gives the parties and lawyers a certain type of structure, but also the flexibility to mold the structure to suit the circumstances of the dispute’s speed and efficiency. It also lends an avenue that allows people from both sides to collaborate with each other without feeling compromised or susceptible to attack. It empowers patties to utilize their talents and skills without the feeling of having to beat one another in the process. Civil Procedure can be very rigid and dogmatic, unlike CL, which sets some boundaries and guidelines but offers much more freedom. This is why it may be a good idea for consideration.
Benefit of Collaborative Mediation with Divorce
Reconciliation may be a possibility in some situations that have led to divorce. Some people may choose the CL process when dealing with their divorce because they want to keep an open possibility of reconciling with their spouse in the end. There are always some suggestions to arrive at that outcome, however. For instance, avoid burning bridges, which can be a terrible strategy for reconciliation becoming a possibility. Forgiving and not holding grudges can show maturity. Getting professional help and admitting to mistakes is a great way to move on from the things that may have helped lead to the divorce. If all of these things have been considered, then there may be hope.