Lately, I’ve been hearing family law litigators and forensic accountants saying that collaborative divorce doesn’t work because one party may enter into the process for the purpose of learning the other sides’ strategy and it’s easy to drag out a case until the other side gives up and remove the case from collaborative process to litigate.
First, there are a few disingenuous people in every kind divorce process, be it collaborative, mediation or litigation. However, if the professional team is trained, transparent and communicate with each other, hopefully we can determine that there is a bad apple quickly and either guide them to being transparent, or close out the collaborative case to minimize the manipulation by the bad apple.
Second, collaborative divorce includes something that litigators have an extremely difficult time with; refraining from taking positions or planning strategies. We work hard to “de-position” the clients in collaborative divorce. It is critical that everyone keeps an open mind. Once the information has been gathered by the neutral financial specialist, and she or he creates some scenarios to consider for settlement, then the team can brainstorm with an open mind and discuss solutions best for that family. Collaborative lawyers need to avoid the pitfall of getting stuck in mere law. Families are far too important to force them into the limited rules of law and deprive them of creative, thoughtful, real life solutions.