The key feature of a collaborative divorce is that all parties are explicitly trying to avoid litigation while taking full advantage of available legal advice. In fact, the attorneys retained for the collaborative process agree to withdraw from the case in the rare case that parties fail to reach an agreement. That way, neither attorney can be accused of attempting to profit from protracted litigation.
Access to a full range of professional counsel
As part of the collaborative divorce process, opposing attorneys talk to each other, clients talk to each other and their respective attorneys, and all parties are free to consult with any experts that may be added to the collaborative group to address specific questions. For people seeking a way to explore the legal issues in a congenial and positive atmosphere, a collaborative approach is the most targeted means of achieving a fair settlement agreement while avoiding the animosity that often occurs in litigation or other negotiating disciplines.
This method has advantageous features. First, both parties have access to legal advice on which they can base their decisions; second, neither attorney has anything to gain by the negotiations failing and the case having to be litigated (which would normally mean more fees for the attorney), as they cannot act as the client’s counsel if the case must go to court; and third, clients have the advantage of having their negotiations overseen by two professionals with targeted, special training in getting litigants to reach their goals while keeping the emotional temperature — and the fees — at a reasonable level.
At Breiter and Gura, our goal is always to avoid litigation
While our office always aims to negotiate, rather than litigate, solutions for our clients, having both parties use certified Collaborative Divorce specialists guarantees that both sides have the same goal in mind. When both parties have access to highly trained attorneys who possess specific techniques to minimize emotional trauma and expense, gamesmanship is eliminated and negotiations can produce a positive settlement in a short period of time.