Comparison to Litigation

Litigation Process Descriptors

  • Parties in disputes often feel intimidated, fearful, anxious, powerless, out gunned, and not in control. The litigation process does nothing to calm this uneasiness and, in fact, a common litigation tactic is to attempt to make the other side so uncomfortable they are coerced into settling.
  • Process focused on assessing blame.
  • Unpredictable results.
  • Things happen that you do not want to happen.
  • Unsafe atmosphere – You are subject to cross examination and all your family and friends may be subject to depositions.
  • Public forum.
  • Inconvenient scheduling for the parties.
  • No free and informal exchange of information.
  • Since the case is still on the court's docket, the lawyers and clients must spend time and money preparing for trial, even though everyone wants to focus on settlement.
  • Expenses can become uncontrollable. Other side can force you to spend lots of money on activity you do not want to participate in – depositions, discovery, hearings.
  • Very difficult, if not impossible, to successfully move from litigation to Collaborative Law.

Collaborative Process Descriptors

  • Collaboration process affirmatively seeks to make both parties feel safe, respected, in control of their lives, and as comfortable as possible while working towards resolution.
  • Process focused on the future; seeking solutions rather than assessing blame.
  • Predictable results - You and your spouse pledge to do nothing unless both of you agree.
  • Safe atmosphere – civil, dignified, respectful.
  • Private and confidential.
  • Schedules for meetings are by agreement.
  • Transparent process – same information available to both parties. Parties develop options for resolution in joint meetings.
  • 100% of all time and money is spent on settlement efforts – fewer wasted resources.
  • All expenses are discussed and agreed upon.
  • Can try collaboration – if it does not work, you can always litigate.

Collaborative Process Descriptors

ìSmarter perople who are looking for a better way. Rational people, intelligent people, fairly well-educated people who recognize that the courtroom is about the worst place to resolve a dispute, especially when there are kids involved. People who are sufficiently mature to realize they canít live together, but they need to make rational decisions about property, debt division and the kids, and not turn it into a war. People who are truly interested in whatís best for the kids ñ generally, these are the folks who are genuinely committed to staying involved in their childrenís lives. Those who want to fight and punish someone donít got the Collaborative Law route ñ they go to court.î
–Collin County District Judge Mark Rusch

Dallas Alliance of Collaborative Family Lawyers, whose members are located in Dallas and Collin Counties.

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