Although a relatively new practice in New Zealand this form of settling issues is used extensively in the USA, Australia and the UK as a cost effective way to resolve disputes.
If you like to take control of the process, the pace at which things are done and want a fast-cost-effective outcome in which you control the information flow and the final outcome then this is the process for you.
The collaborative process is about
- Both of you working together with your respective lawyers who will be collaboratively trained;
- Involves both of you agreeing not to take your matters to Court;
- A series of meetings are held that work toward a resolution of your matters;
- Involves both of you engaging in open, respectful, honest communication and information sharing;
- If required other professionals such as child or financial professionals can be engaged to come to the relevant meetings to assist you both settle your matters;
- Your agreement can be legally recorded in a binding document.
Given the collaborative process allows you to be in charge of your matters guiding the process which is cost effective both financially and emotionally. This is less damaging to your relationship and offers skills that you will take with you moving forward.
Financial savings can be significant as your matters are settled with a mutual understanding on the process of divorce not on the issues that have caused you both to separate. No more lawyers exchanging endless letters and feeling as if you are on a roller coaster as the work is done by your collaborative lawyers through the meeting process. Also, because everything is discussed in an open and honest way which means both of you are on the same legal page making it easier to make decisions and reach an outcome.
In contrast the Court process means you lose control, in many instances you get pitted against each other and it can take years to receive an outcome of which a Judge, will make a decision which will probably not be the outcome either of you want.