This is the fifth step of a series of 12 steps that explains in detail how the Collaborative Law Process works. Click here for the previous step.
Once the partners have gained a basic understanding of the Collaborative Process and spoken with Collaboratively Trained Professionals, it is time for them to decide whether they want to select this process. It is usually a good idea for partners to weigh their options together as a test to see how well they can communicate together. The partners should discuss what major issues need to be resolved and how they want to resolve the issues.
When considering whether the Collaborative Process is right for you, think about what the process represents. The Collaborative Process is an out-of-court method that uses a team of trained professionals to help partners come to a mutually satisfying agreement. If one of the partners is focused on “winning,” the Collaborative Process might not be right for this particular matter. The partners must agree to stay out of court and put for a good faith effort to resolve their issues together with the help of the Collaborative Professionals.
Another important aspect to think about when considering the Collaborative Process is how well you can communicate with your partner. The Collaborative Process is most successful when partners work together, through the Collaborative Professionals, to find solutions. If a partner cannot listen to the other partner’s ideas, the Collaborative Process might not be a good choice. Furthermore, if one partner is afraid to speak up, the Collaborative Process might not be successful.
Divorce is an emotional process. There will be times during the Collaborative Process where the partners feel uncomfortable or even angry, but if you are willing to preserve through discomfort, the Collaborative Process is suitable for you. The Collaborative Process is most successful when the partners are able to sit in the same room together, so if there is too much anger, the Collaborative Process might not be the right choice.
There are out-of-court methods other than the Collaborative Process, so partners do not have to select this method just to stay out of the courtroom. The Collaborative Process works best for partners who are able to be civil with one another and are willing to work toward a mutually satisfying agreement.