Divorce Without Disaster - What Makes Collaborative Law Different from Litigation?

This is the 9th of a serialization of Janet P. Brumley's book, Divorce Without Disaster. This post is Chapter 2, part 1 of the book. 

Below are some specific features that distinguish collaborative law from litigation.

Communication

In litigation, communication is limited and frequently destructive. In collaborative law, the parties and their attorneys communicate openly and constructively.

Use of Expert Testimony

In litigation, each side employs its own experts. That frequently results in the parties paying two bills, and the court may ignore both experts as biased.

In collaborative law, the parties and attorneys agree on a single expert in a particular field (home appraiser, financial advisor, therapist) and pay the expert from the community estate, resulting in less expense and more truth.

Privacy

In litigation, testimony becomes a matter of public record. In collaborative law, everything is conducted in private joint sessions that are neither transcribed nor public.

Scheduling

In litigation, all events (depositions, hearings, etc.) are scheduled with no consideration of the parties’ schedules, or to inconvenience the other party. In collaborative law, the parties schedule everything themselves, with their attorneys present.

Speed of Resolution

In litigation, each case moves at the speed of the attorneys and court. In collaborative law, each case moves at the speed of the parties.

Redemptive Resolution of Conflict

In litigation, each party gets to “slap” the other one multiple times. Usually, having the opportunity to beat up on the other side makes an anguished person feel better, at least momentarily, but nothing ever gets resolved. At some point, the legal process merely ends.

In collaborative law, the attorneys help the parties resolve issues, so resentment and anger are defused rather than merely deflected. Everybody wants to think well of themselves and be thought of the same way by others. Even in the midst of hurt, anger and anguish, most collaborative law participants keep their heads, behave and do right by themselves and their spouses. 

Janet P. Brumley

Prior posts:

Divorce Without Disaster - Collaborative Law - About the Author
Divorce Without Disaster - Collaborative Law - Introduction
Divorce Without Disaster - What Is Collaborative Law and Why Use It?
Divorce Without Disaster - Choices of How to End the Marriage
Divorce Without Disaster - A Closer Look at Collaborative Law
Divorce Without Disaster - Collaborative Law Can Save Everything
Divorce Without Disaster - Human Behavior Key to Collaborative Law
Divorce Without Disaster - What Makes Collaborative Law Different from Litigation?