The Collaborative Alternative

Collaborative Practice is quite different from the formalities of public court proceedings in which each party hires a separate professional and information, much of it personal, is preserved in a court record.

In traditional court process, dueling lawyers frequently fight in a courtroom for a decision most favorable for their client.  This further fractures the fragile relationship of the parties.  Collaborative Practice gives each party and their lawyers the option to work together in a team with other professionals.  Working in collaboration promotes the open exchange and expression of priorities and expectations, making it possible to reach workable solutions for all parties.  In this way, Collaborative Practice encourages cooperation, preserving respect and the longevity of relationships.

Collaborative Practice:

  • creates an environment in which parties can openly talk about their concerns in private and identify issues most important to them;
  • allows the parties to resolve concerns in one place instead of the potential for multiple court proceedings in front of different decision makers over weeks, months and sometimes years;
  • enables parties to maintain control of the process and decisions; not a judge or jury;
  • minimizes court-time, thereby reducing fees and avoiding scheduling conflicts with court dates.

Collaborative Practice also differs from mediation and other forms of dispute resolution in that the parties and their lawyers pledge through a formal written contract:

  • not to use the courts to resolve the legal dispute;
  • that each lawyer must withdraw as legal counsel along with any other Collaborative Team member if the case is taken to court for a decision;
  • to truthfully and voluntarily exchange documents and information that relate to the conflict;
  • to the confidentiality of information that is shared and disclosed during collaboration;
  • to have the support and guidance of an independent interdisciplinary team of professionals, the Collaborative Team, to assist as problem-solvers, not as adversaries.

If you are looking for an alternative to the traditional court process and would like more information about Collaborative Practice, contact a professional in Collaborative Law Professionals of Southeastern Pennsylvania for a confidential consultation.

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