Why Collaborative Law?

August 14, 2023

So, we have all been on those express highways, right? The ones that are supposed to be faster? Well, you are not really in control. You have no way to get off. You can’t get to a bathroom. You can’t really get a gas station in what seems like a hundred miles. You aren’t getting to food anytime soon. If there is an accident, you are seriously stuck sitting and waiting forever. If you need help, you are probably out of luck because everyone is so busy getting to where they are going in a big, huge rush. And for the privilege of this express highway, you usually are paying more money than you do for the business highway. But is it really faster? Aren’t you really more frustrated and less satisfied when you get where you’re going? Ok. So let’s talk about the business highway. You have options! Thank goodness, there is a bathroom. Shouts of “I’m hungry” from the backseat; you’ve got lots of places to stop. Neat shops to check out. If there is an accident, you can get around it. Need help, stop and ask. Sure, there may be traffic lights where you stop for a bit but then you’re on your way again. The point is you have choices and it really isn’t slower than the expressway. You had control of your trip and when you get where you are going, you are satisfied with the route you took to get there.

Want to guess which of the highways is court and which one is collaborative law? That’s right – collaborative law is the choice you control with options and with help. It may seem slower and may seem more expensive but in the long run you are definitely saving money and getting done much quicker than you would fighting your issues through the court process.

Professionals That Help Along the Way

Collaborative law gives you the opportunity to talk about what is important to you. In a safe space, you can discuss goals and interests instead of fighting about legal positions. Decisions are made together with attorneys and other important collaborative professionals to arrive at what is best in your individual situation. These are professionals who take the time to really know you, know your family, and know your situation. Judges, hearing officers, court conciliators are all very good at their craft; however, they have an extremely limited amount of time to assess your case. Your professional team can and likely will include your attorney, a financial coach, a mental health coach, a child specialist, and any other professional that may apply to your specific situation. Collaborative law is a beneficial process for parties who may not be emotionally on the same page about the divorce or where one party may not be as financially savvy as another because it allows the party space to catch up or to learn the information they need to be on the same playing field. Your team is dedicated to looking at you, your family and situation as a whole as well as what needs to be addressed and reorganized in order to come out on the other side of the process with both parties able to move forward in a positive manner in their newly restructured lives and family situation.

Go at Your Own Pace 

Collaborative law can also be a more timely process than litigating your matters through the court system. One of the benefits of a collaborative approach is that the process is self-directed and how fast or how slow you decide to move is entirely up to you. However, the court process is entirely dependent on the volume of cases within the court system at any given time.

The collaborative approach allows you to find your voice without having to fight in an economical and supported environment.

About Gwen E. Lentine

Gwen has worked in the family law arena since 1998. She began her career in the Domestic Relations and moved to a family law firm after spending seven years enforcing child support orders. Having spent so many years watching how devastating it was for families to be without funds to support their children and seeing the fighting over money, she moved to a settlement-oriented family law firm in 2005. After doing just about every job in the law firm, Gwen decided to go to law school at night in 2014.

Once Gwen graduated in 2018, passed the Bar and joined the ranks of attorneys in October of that year, she had already decided what kind of attorney she wanted to be – a peacemaker whenever possible. Gwen will litigate in court if absolutely necessary but considers it her job as your attorney to guide you through the family law processes of divorce, support and custody in the least adversarial, less emotionally traumatic and most economical way possible. She is a trained mediator, having served as a court ordered custody mediator for Montgomery County since 2019 and the Chair of the Family Law Section Mediation Subcommittee since January 2022. In September of 2021, Gwen decided to take the Collaborative Law training in order to supplement her mediation and settlement skills in order to serve her clients.