Benefits of Collaborative Law
There are a number of significant benefits of Collaborative Law. You will find that mediation shares many of these same benefits as well. Some of the benefits of Collaborative Law include:
Avoid Court. Collaborative Law clients typically do not go to court. At the end of the case one of the Collaborative lawyers will prepare all of the paperwork and file it with the court. At that point a judge will review and sign your judgment. Depending on your jurisdiction you may still have to make a brief court appearance just to tell the court what the agreement is or that you agree with the agreement that has been reached.
Attorney Assistance. One of the main differences between mediation and Collaborative Law is that in Collaborative Law each participant has their own lawyer with them every step of the way. In mediation, lawyers can be present, but in many cases they are not. Many Collaborative Law clients report that they feel Collaborative Law offers a higher degree of support than mediation does.
Faster Agreements. Litigated cases can take as little as six months and as long as several years. Recently nationwide budget cuts have required courts to reduce staff and even cut the number of days courts are open, all of which means it will take longer to actually go to court. Collaborative Law cases, on the other hand, occur on the participants’ timeline and can therefore be done far quicker, often in as little as a few months.
Client Control. Collaborative Law clients decide the terms of their own agreement with the assistance of their Collaborative attorneys. A final agreement will not be reached unless both clients agree to it. Collaborative Law allows you to eliminate the possibility that a judge will order something that makes no sense to you.
Reduced Cost. Traditional litigation is very expensive and the total cost is highly unpredictable. Collaborative Law cases tend to cost less than litigated cases, although they tend to cost more than mediated cases. Sometimes clients will select mediation instead of Collaborative Law because they think it will cost less. While this is usually true, clients need to be aware that mediation will add increased cost if the parties cannot successfully mediate and then need to add Collaborative attorneys.
Maintains Privacy. Collaborative Law is a private process which usually takes place at one of the Collaborative lawyer’s offices. Generally speaking, Collaborative Law clients are allowed to decide what goes into the paperwork which becomes public record. In litigated cases you often have ugly allegations and personal information that ends up in the public record.
Preservation of Relationships. Whether in business or in family disputes, preservation of relationships can be a key benefit of Collaborative Law. Collaborative Law helps participants focus on effectively communicating with one another as opposed to attacking one another.
These are just some of the benefits of Collaborative Law. Of course, there are many other benefits as well, some of which may be more important to you than those listed here.