Unlike traditional litigation, clients are more involved in the Collaborative process. With Collaborative Law, the professionals and the parties are all part of one team working toward a common goal. Rather than attorneys negotiating a settlement and reporting back to their clients, the Collaborative team works together to come up with possible solutions and determine what options are available.
Collaborative divorce allows each spouse to have control over the process and the outcome. With litigation, a judge decides the result, but the Collaborative Process lets the spouses create their own outcome. While there are some statutory restrictions, the parties in the Collaborative Process have much more freedom than a Judge to think of solutions that are outside the box.
In between full team meetings, each member will likely be given homework. The Collaborative divorce is built upon full disclosure from each spouse, so homework often consists of gathering documents or otherwise obtaining values of assets. Homework can also include brainstorming or reviewing and analyzing ideas that were discussed at the team meeting.
A Collaborative divorce can only be successful when the team is fully committed to the process. It is up to each spouse to adhere to the foundations of the process and communicate openly and with respect for each other. If a spouse refuses to participate in the meetings or continuously comes unprepared, the process likely will not be effective. One of the many benefits of the Collaborative process is that the parties set the timetable, so if the team is not making progress, it is possible to change the projected timeline unlike litigation where strict deadlines are often imposed.
The Collaborative Process lets the participants determine their own outcome. The process is most successful when each spouse participates fully and with the intention of resolving all issues.