For many years, families have had to experience not only the hardship and circumstances that led them to initiate a family case; but also endure exposure to the negative experiences associated with traditional litigation. It is often said that litigation is the improper arena in which to handle family matters. The reason being – Family Law matters require an understanding not only of the law but also an understanding of the psychological, the emotional, and the financial.
Equally important is the need for an open and direct line of communication. Unfortunately, in litigation, due to its procedural, time-consuming, and adversarial nature, individuals are not adequately communicating with each other but rather “litigating” against each other. Naturally, this leads to a high cost of litigation as well as a high level of detriment to the family unit.
“In litigation, individuals are not adequately communicating
with each other but rather ‘litigating’ against each other.”
A COMPREHENSIVE APPROACH
Alternatively, within the Collaborative Process, families embark on the journey towards a resolution of their family law case with the assistance and guidance of collaboratively trained professionals. While each participant has a collaboratively trained attorney representing them, the team, as a whole, benefits from the existence of a mental health professional who serves as the facilitator, as well as a financial neutral who provides objective financial feedback as it relates to the case. This team approach helps cases be tackled from all angles which in turn helps in the creation of a well-thought-out and complete agreement.
Most importantly, the Collaborative Process encourages interest-based negotiations rather than positional ultimatums. In the Collaborative Process, the days of procedural delays are a thing of the past, since in this process the participants are in the driver’s seat indicating when and how often they are available to engage in team meetings. Each meeting has an agenda tailored to the particular case, which assists the team in tackling any pressing issues as well as the overall matters to be resolved. Because the case is getting resolved within these team meetings, this format helps to avoid the miscommunication that is very prevalent in litigation. Issues are addressed and resolved before they reach unnecessary escalation, and all questions and concerns are discussed and resolved because the multi-professional team approach allows for that.
All of these characteristics of the process not only help families reach long-lasting resolutions but also help families achieve resolutions that will help them avoid future litigation down the road.
The Collaborative Process is a bright light in a dark tunnel that helps families avoid the pitfalls of litigation while steering them towards a positive and equitable resolution. If you want to learn more about the Collaborative Process, contact our office to schedule a consultation or visit our website at familiescollaborate.com