Three key differences between the collaborative law process and the litigation process are one, in litigation, there’s formal discovery. In collaborative law, we exchange that formal discovery for a transparent exchange of information. This is an agreement and a contract between all parties concerned that every piece of relevant financial information will be disclosed whether it’s asked for or not.
Two, a commitment by all parties to work for an outcome that works for the whole family instead of a strategic zero sum game negotiation that leaves many people feeling battered and bruised; and third, the opportunity to put the needs of the children first and to craft a parenting plan that really makes sense.
In 10 years of litigation experience, one thing that I learned was that it’s impossible even when everyone wants to put the needs of the children first, it’s impossible not to somehow use the children as part of the negotiation toolbox.