I was recently discussing Collaborative with a colleague when the subject of “why Collaborative?” I can think of at least 5 good reasons to choose Collaborative Practice for your divorce.
Who wants the stress and anxiety of airing their family law issues in open court? Collaborative is private. Discussions and materials developed in Collaborative Practice are inadmissible in court.
It happens in your own time.
Who wants to be on the court’s schedule? What if you need more time to resolve an issue? The court doesn’t care, they need to move their calendar. Your family needs more time, or would like to move things along more quickly. In Collaborative, you set your own pace.
You set the agenda.
Is it more important for you to decide on a parenting plan than to determine support? Is alimony the most important issue for you? You set the agenda in Collaborative, not your lawyers or the court.
Everyone knows divorce is hard on the children, that they are unwilling participants in the divorce, and that the children really should be the center of the process. But who has time to learn how to tell the children — and what to tell them — when you are worried about other issues in your divorce? Collaborative provides you with a trained mental health neutral whose role is to help parents navigate these difficult issues without stress and discord of litigation.
What is more cost-effective: Meeting with a financial neutral to work out your budgets and sort out complex financial issues and a mental health neutral to work out your parenting time plan and improve communication throughout the process and into your future of co-parenting, while you and they consult with your independent attorneys every step of the way, knowing that each member of your close-knit team is working with you both to transition your family from one to two separate households? Or each hiring a lawyer, often at odds with the other, often fanning the flames of acrimony, hiring joint experts to render financial and custody reports, often hiring additional experts to refute those experts, and having your lawyers prepare for battle (trial) and having your experts — and you — testify at trial after months or years of litigation? Ask anyone who’s been through both.