Collaborative Law is an effective dispute resolution process that allows the parties, with help from their lawyers, to resolve their disputes without using the court system or other adversarial process. All experts are jointly hired by the parties. The Collaborative Process relies upon facilitative conflict resolution techniques instead of the rights based positional negotiation techniques used in a conventional adversarial dispute resolution model.
Experienced professionals typically find that this process frequently results in a higher quality of outcome for their clients, particularly for parties who wish (or need) to have an on-going relationship after the dispute has been resolved. Collaborative Practice is widely practiced in family law, and has been shown to be be effective in other areas of law such as in employment, partnership disputes and probate, and other civil disputes.
Many professionals find that the Collaborative Process allows them to be more creative in helping clients find solutions to the problems presented. Using new skills such as facilitative dispute resolution techniques, including interest-based problem-solving methods, the process has professionals creatively facilitate dialogues between the parties to find solutions that address the parties concerns, needs, and interests consistent with their values. Instead of working as adversaries, professionals work together to help the parties reach agreements. Because the clients are active participants in resolving their disputes, and therefore buy into the solutions, they are typically happier with the outcome. This often leads to greater job satisfaction for the Collaborative professional.
Most lawyers and other professionals involved in litigation and conventional representation recognize that alternative forms of dispute resolution have become commonplace. Many courts have mandatory mediation or arbitration requirements. Many clients have been looking for more cost and time effective ways to resolve disputes. The Collaborative Practice has sprung from the joint desire by both clients and professionals to find alternatives to litigation and adversarial processes. As more clients look for alternatives and discover the Collaborative Process, they are actively seeking out trained Collaborative professionals to assist them.
Collaborative Practice is a tried and proven method to help clients save time and money resolving their disputes. It’s a great tool to add to your toolbox!