What distinguishes the Collaborative Process from Litigation?

The difference between the Collaborative Process and Litigation:

  1. The Collaborative Process is done out of Court,  in an informal setting and  is private. Litigation is done in Court, in a formal setting and  is not private.


  2. The Collaborative Process is non-adversarial, the parties have a common goal. Litigation is adversarial, the parties do not work together toward a common goal.


  3. Collaborative Divorce uses a team approach, with the members of the team having a common goal.


  4. In Litigation there is no team approach. Each side hires their own experts. In litigation the objective is to defeat the other side.


  5. In the Collaborative Process, the attorneys agree not to litigate. If the clients cannot resolve the matter using the collaborative process and want to litigate, the attorneys must withdraw and the clients will have to hire new attorneys to litigate. This requires the attorneys and clients to have common goals in working toward resolving the issues and a dissolution of the marriage.


  6. In the Collaborative Process, discovery proceedings are open. No one can hide relevant information. If information is hidden or concealed and the deception is discovered the process will break down. In addition, concealed information can lead to an agreement that will be subject to attack and may not be binding. For those fearing that assets may be hidden an asset search can be done. (The dilemma of a party hiding assets can exists whether you are using the collaborative process or litigation). In litigation the parties are adversaries. Discovery proceedings can be long and drawn out, often court orders are needed to obtain information.


  7. The Collaborative Process is client centered.  No final decisions will be made without the client's agreement. In a litigation setting, the Court sets the time and dates of meetings.  In litigation the Court can make binding decisions which the Clients do not agree with.


  8. The parties agree to be honest and respectful and to participate in good faith and work together in a collaborative manner. In litigation the parties are adversaries.

How does the Collaborative Process work?

The Benefits of the Collaborative Process

Frequently Asked Questions