Atlanta Collaborative Divorce Alliance

Collab. vs. Litigation

Collaborative Family Law
vs.
Traditional Litigation


Collaborative Family Law and traditional litigation are similar in only two respects:

 (1)  Each party has independent counsel, governed by professional aspirations and ethical requirements, to represent and protect his or her interests; and

(2)   There will be a decision that concludes the matter and resolves all issues.

 

The actual result of a collaborative family law matter and a case that proceeds through traditional litigation can be similar. However, in the Collaborative Process, the parties can reach agreements that Courts are legally not permitted to order, or simply do not have the time to craft. The bigger difference, however, is that the negative economic, social and emotional consequences of protracted divorce litigation is minimized. There are no winners in most family law matters that progress through the court system. Traditional litigation, due to mandated court appearances, discovery and the lack of cooperation will almost surely be substantially more expensive. Thus, even if the outcome is similar to what would have been achieved in the Collaborative Process, both sides are worse off because their assets have been depleted to fund the litigation and because the negative focus of litigation can tear the family apart, making future cooperation all but impossible.

       The Atlanta Collaborative Divorce Alliance recognizes that divorce involves relationships with long histories, and, where children are involved, long futures. When a family law dispute is resolved through the collaborative process, many parents feel comfortable attending the school plays seated next to their former spouse or partner, and the children do not have to fear a special event which both parents attend.

       While the Collaborative Family Law process still involves conflict, the parties learn how to express their feelings in a way that is not destructive. More importantly, they learn how to communicate their needs and interests in a way that can be understood, which facilitates a resolution that works for everyone.

               While no single approach is right for everyone. Many couples do find the no-court process known as Collaborative Practice (Collaborative Law/Collaborative Divorce) a welcome alternative to the often destructive, uncomfortable aspects of conventional divorce. Collaborative Family Law respectfully resolves the disputes that arise when ending a relationship or when confronted by changes that impact the family unit after a divorce. It utilizes a solution-oriented approach. Litigation can often be a war of attrition. Rather than focusing on winning, The Atlanta Collaborative Divorce Alliance assists the parties to focus on reaching a resolution that addresses the needs of both parties as well as the children. By engaging in the Collaborative Law process, you will maintain control of the outcome of your case rather than letting a complete stranger, the judge, make decisions for you. You will move forward at your own pace, and in the privacy of an office rather than the public forum of the courtroom. You will engage in purposeful discussions and fully participate in the process and the outcome. The end result is far better than one foisted upon the parties by the Court or in the haste of settlement on the courthouse steps.

             If you and your spouse or partner are willing to commit to setting your dispute without court intervention, are willing to give full, honest and open disclosure of all information, are willing to engage in informal discussions and conferences to settle all issues and are willing to work to protect the privacy, respect and dignity of all involved, then Collaborative Law is the right choice. Any member of The Atlanta Collaborative Divorce Alliance will be able to give you more information.

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