What is Collaborative Law?

Collaborative Law or Collaborative Practice is an alternative to litigation, arbitration, and mediation. 

Litigation is a formal and expensive procedure where the court system controls the process and the outcome. Lawyers, on behalf of their clients, must follow specific court rules to present their clients’ cases, and must talk to the court through formal, written documents  (called pleadings).  It is often a lengthy and frustrating process for the parties and their attorneys.  Decisions about the case are made by judges and masters (lawyers appointed by the court to act as decisions makers), not by the parties themselves.  

Arbitration is an alternative dispute resolution process, which is also different from Collaborative Practice, where an arbitrator or panel of arbitrators make decisions for the parties, after both sides have an opportunity to present their cases.  The outcome is biding on the parties.   

Mediation is similar to Collaborative Law, because the parties are attempting to resolve their issues without going to court.  In mediation a neutral mediator helps the parties resolve their issues amicably by facilitating a productive conversation using special techniques.  Mediation is similar to Collaborative Practice, but different, because in Collaborative Practice, both parties have their own attorney or advocate.  In Collaborative Law the parties and their lawyers commit to resolving the issues outside of court.  It is set up to be a win win situation, so that the best outcome is achieved for all parties. 

All of our Collaborative Lawyers are also trained mediators.  In Collaborative Practice, neutral professionals are also used to assist with the emotional and financial aspects involved in the case.

The practice of Collaborative Law gives each party a chance to work with an interdisciplinary team of collaborative professionals.  Meetings with the Collaborative Team are held in a private and confidential setting.  It eliminates the potential embarrassment of discussing intimate details in open court. The team members have knowledge and training in the legal components, as well as, the financial and emotional aspects of the conflict.

  • A Collaborative Lawyer is an advocate for their client and committed to the unique practice of Collaborative Law. 
  • Financial Specialists, who practice Collaborative Law, are neutral parties that provide valuable information and share financial implications while working toward the best possible outcome for both parties. 
  • A Child Specialist works with parents and children to guide the transition from one to two households during separation and divorce. 
  • Collaborative Communication Coaches work with each party on the emotional aspects of separation and divorce.

 Our practitioners are located throughout the five counties in Southeastern Pennsylvania, including Bucks County, Montgomery County, Delaware County, Chester County, and Philadelphia..

Learn more about Collaborative Law Professionals of Southeastern Pennsylvania.  Find a professional and schedule a confidential consultation.

 

There is still so much hostility between my spouse and me since our separation. We haven’t talked in three months. Our only communication is by text about our children. I would like to try this, but I don’t see how it would work.

The guiding principle of Collaborative Practice is respect. This respectful tone encourages the parties to show compassion, understanding and cooperation.

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I’ve been considering mediation as an alternative to court proceedings. Isn’t this the same thing?

Good question! It’s not the same. While both Mediation and Collaborative Practice are alternatives to the traditional court process, they are quite different.

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I don’t have any knowledge about our finances and believe that the other party may be hiding information from me. Don’t I need the court to tell the other party to provide me all of our financial information?

Having all financial information is critical to making an informed decision and having an agreement that is going to be enforceable by the court.

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