Pros & Cons Of Collaborative Law

Like mediation, collaborative family law offers individuals an alternative to resolving very personal and emotionally difficult issues in a courtroom. This is perhaps the most important reason you might consider taking a collaborative approach. Instead of airing your grievances and listing your hopes for the future before a room full of strangers, you work with trusted professionals on resolving your differences in a safe and private setting.

Collaborative family law has several other advantages as well, including:

  • It gives both parties more control over the process and the outcomes. In mediation, the process is fairly set in stone. In collaborative law, you set the parameters and items for discussion ahead of time.
  • It uses a team approach. In addition to your lawyers, you may find the assistance of professionals like financial or tax advisers, child specialists, divorce coaches and others integral to your decision-making process. Collaborative law allows you to bring in such experts to help you make informed decisions.
  • It is generally less time-consuming and less costly, because it takes place outside of the Courts. You need not wait for a specific Court date (which could be set several months away) nor pay additional Court fees for a judge's time.
  • It's often a more positive experience and leads to better agreements. Working together on your agreement can make the process of splitting up more positive than fighting in Court. Moreover, agreements made in a collaborative setting tend to set everyone up for success, to last longer and to prevent future conflicts.

Why Wouldn't I Use A Collaborative Approach?

Collaborative family law works best when both parties seek to protect their individual interests in the spirit of compromise. Relationships with unequal power dynamics, especially those that have existed for years or decades, can jeopardize this collaborative spirit. This is especially common in cases where family violence is of concern.

Another concern is if the process does not work out. If you or your partner pulls out of the collaborative process, you will need to find new lawyers and a new team to represent you. The process doesn't leave room for renegotiation — if you cannot reach an agreement collaboratively, you will need to start over.

Finally, collaborative law may involve additional costs. The flexibility of bringing in experts is a great feature of collaborative family law. However, these experts will have associated fees.

An experienced collaborative team like ours will be on the lookout for such issues, hopefully before agreements are signed and negotiations get underway.

Our lawyers at Westside Family Law keep aware of potential red flags and steer you in the right direction in terms of finding the best approach to resolving your family law issue.

Helping You Make Informed Decisions

No one can tell you definitively that choosing collaborative family law will work perfectly, not even us. We can help you make an informed decision about how best to resolve your family law issue. Talk about your case with one of our Vancouver family lawyers by calling 604-800-8853 today. You may also email us to get started.