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Collaborative v. Litigation

Collaborative Law V. Litigation




 Who Controls the Process? The rules of procedure, the judge’s requirements for the case, the judge’s decisions on motions and the ultimate decision on all your issues. You and spouse/parent control the process with the help of the team, and you and your spouse are the decision-makers for your future.
Time The attorneys must coordinate hearing times with the judge’s calendar and each other’s calendars and your availability. A party can stall a case by not cooperating, and the backlog in the courts can stall a case for getting hearing times. The professionals and you and your spouse control the calendar. The goal for your case is to be time efficient which is also cost efficient.
Degree of Adversity Encourages competition among the lawyers and the clients. Lawyers can fuel their own client’s anger, which causes costs to escalate. Encourages cooperation and creativity among team members; teaches participants to collaborate
Costs – evidence for financial proof Formal discovery (exchange of Financials) wastes time and money having the attorney analyze. To prove his/her case, the each client would hire his/her own financial expert. Neutral financial expert analyzes family’s financials with divorce in mind or income for child support, thus, saving attorney hourly fee and an additional fee of another expert.
Costs – parenting plan To prove parenting disputes that may or may not rise to the level of what you intend to have the court order
generally, means having a court ordered social investigation or parenting coordinator or child
Neutral licensed mental health professional to help with some of the parenting issues and to agree on a
plan that will be the best for the family.
Costs – attorneys Lawyers get paid by the tenth of an hour. The more paperwork lawyers file and or cause you to respond to via your lawyer and the more time he/she requests for court time, the more the lawyer gets paid. If you settle, the income flow stops. Lawyers are dedicated to working as a team, AND your lawyer and your spouse’s lawyer have agreed they will
not litigate your case. Your lawyers can still be your advocate while working with the you and your team and your spouse to get an
Costs – emotion – anger v. peace The focus in litigation is on your emotional differences and blaming the other to fuel the fight. The lawyers make more money and your family loses money as a result of the lawyers taking your money. The focus in collaborative are on the areas of agreement and promote problem solving with education and
Costs – emotion – threat v. safety You feel threatened because you feel like you have no control and you feel like you have to fight or you feel
like your attorney files a bunch of motions so you control the tempo but really you do not know the outcome
You feel safe because you know that your team and your spouse are working towards the same goal and you know that neither side can drag you into court.
Winning The reality is that the judge has limited options when he/she rules because of the laws he/she must follow. Also, the judge has limited knowledge because he/she is being forced to make a decision on your financial and family matters in an 8 hour or 16 hour period (a one or two day trial) and the evidence code restricts all of the evidence that you may want to share with the judge. The judge can only make a decision based on his/her LIMITED INFORMATION, thus, usually NO ONE “wins”. The reality is that no one is winning because you are experiencing the breakup of your marriage/family. The collaborative law experience is meant for a win/win for you and your spouse because you both are making your own decisions with expert help and guidance.
Results – public v. private Family law courts and documents are open to the public and available to see. Your meetings and financial matters for your family stay private.