Advantages of Collaborative Law
There are cases in which collaborative divorce will not be advisable, but in my opinion, in the vast majority of cases, collaborative law has significant advantages over litigation. A collaborative law case will be more expensive than resolving a case in pre-suit mediation, but almost always less expensive than litigating, especially if the case goes to trial. The atmosphere of a litigated case can range from highly adversarial to more cooperative, depending on the facts of the case and also the attorney each party selects, but a litigated case always moves forward in the context of at least some uncertainty about how issues would be decided by a Judge at trial, and in the context of an upcoming trial. The Judges in Broward county and Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties as well have large case-loads, with new cases filed and assigned each week, and will keep your case moving forward — the prospect of an possible eventual trial and the discovery and procedural things that need to be done for a trial will be there.
In a collaborative law case, you know both sides are hiring attorneys who have chosen to handle family law cases with the goal in mind of helping the parties reach an amicable resolution. This is sometimes referred to in collaborative family law as a “paradigm shift” — moving from an approach of how can we beat the other side and prevail, to how can we together seek to arrive at a positive result for the parties. Almost always the collaborative law attorneys, mental health professional and neutral financial professional you select will be members of a collaborative law professional group in your county — for example Collaborative Family Law Professionals of South Florida — the Broward county group, and most likely will be both colleagues and friends. This will help — a collaborative family law case will not necessarily be easy; there will still be disagreements and strong feelings regarding the issues in the case, but having collaborative law team members involved who are able to work well together can help work through the tougher issues. Hopefully, the collaborative family law team members can help provide an example of how to disagree, but still remain respectful and retain positive relationships. This is a professional aspiration for attorneys and something you should see in litigated cases as well, but something that is also built into and supported by the collaborative law process
A collaborative law case will involve you and the other party sitting in the same room for collaborative law settlement meetings. In addition to the cases in which this is not appropriate, the process may not be for everyone — for some or many it may be preferable to let your attorney deal with the other side. However, there are downsides to litigation to consider, and it does seem preferable and to involve less emotional energy to walk away from a significant relationship amicably if appropriate and possible, especially if parents still will need to cooperate to some extent because they have minor children. This could be one of the most significant changes supported by Collaborative Family Law -- changing from a presumption that we resolve difficult, contested family law cases by a fight in court, to an assumption that these issues should be resolved outside of court by agreement between the parties.
Call me at (954) 636-7498, or use the contact form on the website, and we can discuss Collaborative Family Law as an option for your case.