A Brief Overview of the Collaborative Law Practice
Updated: Jul 25, 2019
If you’re in the midst of a divorce or business dispute, you may have heard the term “collaborative law.” While other legal solutions often focus on punishing the other party and resolving issues through litigation, collaborative practice involves working together towards a mutually beneficial solution.
Who Is Involved?
Many people may be involved in the collaborative law process. Both parties and their lawyers communicate frequently to discuss options and find compromises on various issues. However, the legal team may also bring in specialists in other fields to provide additional support. For example, in a collaborative divorce case, the team may include a child psychologist or other mental health professional to help children navigate the many changes facing their family. Also, where appropriate, a financial planner is brought in to help both parties better navigate their new financial realities and better comprehend the long and short term implications of their asset division.
The Purpose of Collaborative Law
Collaborative law strives to find a cooperative approach to difficult legal challenges. It is most often utilized in divorce cases and other family law cases, but can also a useful tool in business law and certain other specialties. Rather than posturing and framing every conflict as a winner take all scenario—a process that can lead clients into litigation for months or even years—collaborative law aims to save time and money while minimizing stress and finding solutions that benefit both parties and preserves or strengthens crucial relationships.
One of the main benefits of collaborative law is the fact that it puts power squarely in the clients’ hands. Yes, they are expected to compromise and consider reasonable alternatives to their preferred outcomes, but it is ultimately their decision to engage in the collaborative process and compromise with the other party. If either client becomes dissatisfied with the collaborative law process, they can withdraw and choose to litigate—they do not give up any power when agreeing to try collaboration.
Short-Term and Long-Term Benefits
The benefits afforded by collaborative practice are numerous. In the short-term, clients may spend less time in legal proceedings and spend less on legal fees. They may be able to solve their legal issues in a shorter time frame, freeing up money and allowing both parties to move forward. In the long-term, collaborative practice allows parties to maintain and strengthen relationships. This is particularly beneficial in divorce cases, as it allows clients to negotiate complex issues without intentionally hurting or intimidating the other side. This type of negotiation lays a solid foundation for an effective and healthy co-parenting relationship, which benefits the parents and their children.
Are you considering collaborative law for your family law needs? Holt Law is here to discuss your case and help you find practical solutions. Call us at 203-872-7218 to talk to our team and set up a consultation.