what is the collaborative process?
Collaborative law is a way of making legal decisions for your separation or divorce without going to court. Like mediation, it is an alternative resolution process. Both clients meet with their lawyers, and any other divorce team professionals, to work out all the issues. The lawyers are hired as settlement lawyers only, they may not threaten to go to court or go to court for their client.
what is collaborative law?
It is the same thing as collaborative process.
what are the advantages of the collaborative process?
– Each party is represented by his or her lawyer from the beginning.
– The lawyers (and clients) all work on settlement, without the distraction of preparing for court.
– No threats of I’ll see you in court.
– Focus on creative solutions rather than emotional arguments.
– The lawyers are available to give legal advice in meetings while negotiations happen.
– The party can pick a divorce team and use professionals in an efficient way to solve the issues.
what is the disqualification provision?
The term means, that if the collaborative process breaks down the lawyers have to withdraw from representing their clients. The parties must hire new lawyers to go to court. The disqualification provision is part of the contract the parties sign in the collaborative process, which commits the lawyers to being involved for settlement only.
we plan to do our divorce without lawyers because we are afraid that lawyers will turn it into a battle. Why would we want a collaborative process?
The collaborative process would be worth considering. The lawyers are not able to turn the case into a battle. This process provides all the advantages to each person by having their lawyer give legal advice and assistance without court. The lawyers are committed to working cooperatively with each other and to help the parties look at other team members who can resolve their separation in a more efficient way. A separation agreement can have long reaching financial and parental impacts, understanding what you are doing and signing should be of great value to you.
can any lawyer do the collaborative process?
Because of the difference from litigation, special training is required for lawyers to do this. In Ontario, all collaborative process lawyers must have a minimum of 16 hours of training in this process. Most of the collaborative associations in Ontario require 32 hours of training. To find a collaborative lawyer, you must find one who is registered through a collaborative association through www.oclf.ca.
how do I persuade my spouse to use the collaborative process?
A soft sell approach is usually best. Give your spouse the information about the process including how to get more information. You can suggest to your spouse that this process usually reduces conflict at separation and helps each person be heard in a respectful way without thousands of dollars being spent through court. You may want to suggest that he or she have an initial meeting with one of the lawyers trained in the collaborative process in your area.
what if my spouse already has a lawyer, a person who is not trained in the collaborative process? What can I do?
Both spouses must agree to use collaboratively trained lawyers for the process to happen. This means they both must have lawyers who are enrolled through www.oclf.ca. You still may want to tell your spouse about the collaborative process option so that they are aware it is another process choice that is available to them. They then need to make the decision as to whether or not they want to do that process.
does a collaborative divorce cost less?
Reaching an agreement on all of the issues in divorce typically means less fees than if you went to court. This can be true whether you use the collaborative process, you mediate or you reach an agreement directly through negotiation.
which is better, collaborative practice or mediation?
Both are excellent processes. The answer depends on which would work best for your situation. In mediation, the parties work directly with a neutral mediator who assists them. Typically, no one else is in the room with them helping them in that process. If each person is confident in their understanding of the law and their ability to put their interests forward, then mediation does work well. In the collaborative process, there is no neutral person and instead the process is guided by each persons lawyer working directly with the parties. The lawyers set the agenda with the parties and manage the process. They help their clients understand the law and their options all the way through the negotiation.
where can I get more information on the collaborative process?
Many people have more questions about Collaborative Law and whether it’s the right approach for them. The Ontario Collaborative Law Federation provides plenty of information to help people understand how Collaborative Law works. For extensive details about Collaborative Law visit oclf.caWe would also recommend the book “The Collaborative Way to Divorce: The Revolutionary Method That Results in Less Stress, Lower Cost and Happier Kids – Without Going to Court” by Stuart G. Webb and Ronald D. Ousky.This video (from oclf.ca) explains in detail the benefits of Collaborative Law.