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What is the difference between Collaborative Process & Conventional Litigation?

In a conventional litigation, parties rely on the traditional adversarial court system and judges to resolve their disputes. Each party hires a lawyer and pays for his or her own experts. The parties, their lawyers and witnesses present "their" facts to a judge and try to prevent the voice of the opposing party from being heard. In the end the judge makes a decision based on the facts admitted into evidence, the law and results similar cases. Often times a considerable amount of money is spent developing facts and evidence and preventing "the other side" from getting their facts and evidence before the judge.

The Collaborative Process is completely different. The Collaborative Process has three key elements:
  • A written commitment by all the participants and the professionals to resolve the dispute respectfully instead of going to court. This means that you and your spouse maintain control of the process. Both attorneys and all other team professionals pledge to do their best to reach an agreement and to withdraw if they are unable to keep that commitment.
  • The voluntary and free exchange of all important information.
  • A commitment to respect for both parties' shared goals.
Unfortunately, in a conventional divorce you often come to view each other as adversaries, and your divorce may become a battleground. The resulting conflicts take an immense toll on emotions - specially the children's. The Collaborative Process is by definition a non-adversarial approach. Your lawyers pledge in writing not to go to court. The Collaborative Process focuses on solving problems not on establishing blame and determining rights. Everyone works together to achieve mutual settlement outside the courts. The Collaborative Process eases the emotional strains of a breakup and protects the well-being of children. A Collaborative case can be more direct and efficient. In fact a Collaborative case can move as fast as the participants want to go and this may be much faster than a traditional divorce.
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