How much does a collaborative divorce cost?
Too much, generally. Odds are that if you attempt to settle your divorce through what is called the “collaborative law” process your experience will be a negative one and/or one that cost you far more in time and money and effort than it should have.
Truly collaborative divorce is, in practice, a sham more often than not.
Most collaborative lawyers are all hat and no cattle, selling the sizzle and not a steak. With rare exception, most attorneys who call themselves “collaborative lawyers” do so for the sole purpose of exploiting what they believe to be a lucrative trend, not to be real collaborators.
Forewarned is forearmed.
Collaborative divorce is one of those things that sounds great in concept but doesn’t translate to real world success. Even the most enthusiastic and vocal (and honest) proponents of collaborative divorce will tell you this (please read on to find out who and why).
I was recently asked why collaborative law is not utilized more in divorce cases, and while I had my own ideas for how to answer the question, I wanted to refer to someone with more expertise and a greater understanding of the subject than I do, to make sure that I did not misstate 1) the correct definition of collaborative law; and 2) did not misstate the strengths and weaknesses of collaborative law as it is practiced in the real world today.
As I searched the web for such an article, I found a few that summarized what I was thinking, but I still felt did not accurately describe what real collaborative law is or why collaborative law practice so often fails to be practiced correctly. I knew that I still did not myself have a correct definition or correct understanding of collaborative law.
Then I came across ‘Collaborative Divorce’ Is Collaborative in Name Only. The author of this article, Mark Baer, hit the nail on the head when you said that what many people describe as “collaborative law” is in fact “cooperative law”.
The article laments “a collaborative law community that seems more intent on patting itself on the back and devising a way for all of us to make more money than in really helping our clients.” Again, it hits the nail squarely on the head.
Human nature being what it is, most people won’t exercise the patience or take the leap of faith needed for collaborative law to function properly. That’s a shame, but Mr. Baer’s article neatly summarizes why this is.
The real power of collaborative law practice, ADR, mediation, etc. is wasted and/or never realized when people don’t understand that the real power lies in mutual benefit as the goal. While mediation may still be better than litigation, if the main benefits are compromise obtained through conflict avoidance, the disputants “left money on the table” both literally and figuratively (i.e., emotionally and spiritually).
Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277