What is Collaborative Practice, or – the Collaborative Process?
In the Collaborative model of resolving family law cases, you don’t go to Court. You also don’t mediate.
In the Collaborative Process each spouse has their own lawyer but each does not hand off negotiations and resolutions to the lawyers, as in a negotiation model. Instead, a team is created including both spouses, their lawyers and two other neutrals called family and financial professionals. Everyone on the team has one goal, to reach an agreement that meets the needs and objectives of each spouse.
Each spouse’s goals and concerns are articulated within the Collaborative Process so that everyone understands what the spouses want. Compromise is often the result, but compromise occurs because the spouses want the compromises and agree on any result.
Unlike Court, where the decision can be imposed and, as with negotiation and mediation, where the law is strictly applied to a family’s separation, in the Collaborative Process there is room for creative and flexible solutions because the goal is a resolution that meets the needs of the spouses (and children), not fitting the “case” into a legal box.
Collaborative Process offers engagement in a respectful dialogue that strives for and achieves a resolution that looks wholistically at a family, and crafts a solution to meet the spouses and family’s needs. While never perfect, Collaborative Practice provides what Court, negotiation and mediation cannot: flexible resolutions done respectfully with full engagement of the spouses so they remain in charge of their lives.
There truly is a better way for separating spouses.