Most separations and divorces are stressful and painful. You can choose to make it better or worse by the process you choose to use. The following are your choices.
Collaborative Practice is a future-focused, efficient, cost-effective, creative, problem-solving process. It is not about fighting or finding blame. With the help of professionals, you work together to find a unique resolution that meets the core concerns of both you and your spouse. You will find a resolution to the issues through a series of meetings. You’ll get the expert help and information you need to make the best decisions. You will not go to family court. It’s hard work but in the end, you will have the help you need to negotiate a fair deal that works over the long term. Even the most complicated cases can be resolved through the Collaborative Process. In most cases, Collaborative Practice is the best way to minimize the cost and pain of divorce normally associated with the court process.
A neutral third party will help you negotiate the terms of an agreement that works for your whole family. You will review the agreement with your lawyer prior to signing a legally binding separation agreement. Mediation works for many families but some prefer Collaborative Process where your lawyer is present throughout the negotiations. If the issues are less complicated and you just need a bit of help to negotiate an agreement, mediation is an excellent choice.
Lawyer to Lawyer Negotiations
Negotiations are better than litigation. Lawyer negotiations often result in an agreement. Some negotiations are conducted by an exchange of emails or letters, but we sometimes have four-way meetings to discuss the issues face-to-face. In Collaborative Practice cases, there is a commitment that the case will not go to court but this is not so with cases negotiated by lawyers. It is possible for the case to end up in court if the resolution is not achieved during the lawyer to lawyer negotiations. Family court is the place of last resort. It is slow, costly, difficult to predict and you are giving the power to decide the issues to the judge. So, we like Collaborative Practice more than lawyer negotiations because of the risk of landing in court.
The court process and arbitration are similar. The difference is in arbitration, the parties and their lawyers choose the arbitrator (who has the powers of a judge) and determine the procedure. As a result, in arbitration closure is achieved which most clients welcome. The problem with arbitration is that you are giving the arbitrator the right to decide your case and it must be based only on the law. A more creative solution that meets the core concerns cannot be considered if it deviates from the law. Arbitration is better than going to family court but it is very expensive and you are giving the power to make important decisions about your life to the arbitrator.
Family court is the last place we recommend cases be resolved. Most clients complain that it is an expensive process. It is often slow and how the judge will decide the case is difficult to predict. The adversarial nature of the court process often increases the level of animosity between you and your spouse. The judge will make decisions about your family based on the law without regard to your core concerns. The judge simply is not allowed to be creative. We regularly help clients by representing them in the court process but we do our best to keep you out of court if possible.
Next Step For You
Now that you know some of the basic process choices, you should contact our office and book a consultation with one of our lawyers. We can help you determine which process is the best one for you. Whatever process you choose, we will help you all the way through to resolution.