Collaborative Process – a more dignified way to divorce
by Rose Pellar, B.A.S., LL.B
“It has been said that the only people who get rich in divorce are the lawyers.”
As a family law lawyer for almost 25 years, I have come to recognize that:
- The courtroom is rarely the appropriate place for resolving marital disputes, and
- litigation (a court action) should only be used as a last resort.
Litigation is not only expensive and time-consuming but it invariably causes irreparable harm between parents and their children. The court process increases the hostility between husbands and wives and can leave them financially and emotionally spent.
Thankfully, there is now a better alternative called Collaborative Process. Through the Collaborative process, couples are empowered to reach a settlement specific to their own family’s needs. With the support of their own lawyer and a team of trained professionals, the parties come together in face-to-face discussions and negotiations to resolve their separation in a creative and lasting manner that looks to the future.
The Collaborative Process is, in my opinion, a more dignified way to divorce.
In litigation it could take years to get to a final determination and neither you nor your spouse may be happy with the Judge’s final decision. This, is after having spent thousands of dollars and missed time from work in order to spend countless hours at court with sometimes little or no progress. Moreover, litigation can increase the hostilities between you and your spouse and affect your children negatively.
The Collaborative Process requires the parties and their lawyers to sign a Participation Agreement wherein the parties agree that neither party will commence or threaten to go to court and are committed to reaching a resolution. If either party terminates the process and commences a court action, none of the two collaborative lawyers can represent either party and the information disclosed in the process cannot be used in litigation.
Consequently, the parties and their lawyers are committed to, and therefore are more likely to, reach a resolution in a more timey, less costly and more respectful way.
The collaborative lawyers are trained to assist the parties to communicate effectively and to ensure that each party’s concerns and desires are recognized.
Litigation could take many months, if not years to be finalized. In the Collaborative Process, issues could be resolved after a few meetings of both parties and their lawyers. Furthermore, the settlement which is accomplished is brought about by open communication between the parties and their lawyers at the same time. There is full disclosure and everyone is able to explore a wide range of possible choices acceptable to both parties.
So why choose the Collaborative Process?
- There is a commitment to reach a resolution,
- It will take less time and therefore less legal fees to resolve your issues,
- The process is more respectful than litigation which increase hostilities, and
- The outcome is more dependable and acceptable to both parties.
Book your appointment today with our Collaborative Family Law Lawyer.