Any experienced Collaborative Practiceyer will tell you that there is a big difference between a settlement that is negotiated during the conventional litigation process, and a settlement that takes place in the context of an agreement that there will be no court proceedings or even the threat of court. Most conventional family law matters settle figuratively, if not literally, “on the courthouse steps”. By that time, a very great deal of money has been spent, and a great deal of emotional damage can have been caused. The settlements are reached under conditions of considerable tension and anxiety, and both “buyer’s remorse” and “seller’s remorse” are common. Moreover, the settlements are reached in the shadow of trial, and are generally shaped largely by what the lawyers believe the judge in the case is likely to do.
Nothing could be more different from what happens in a typical Collaborative Practice settlement. The process is geared from day one to make it possible for creative, respectful collective problem-solving to happen. It is quicker, less costly, more creative more individualized, far less stressful, and overall far more satisfying in its results than what occurs in most conventional settlement negotiations.