I was interested to read the most recent statistics from our family law colleagues in the USA ( Florida Academy of Collaborative Professionals) which reinforced the results from an earlier International Academy of Collaborative Professionals’ study showing that most clients who embark on a Collaborative divorce case are able to resolve matters by agreement away from the courts. More information about Collaborative Practice can be found at www.brodies.com/bfamily/our-services/dispute-resolution/collaborative-practice
The US experience of at least 90% success mirrors my own involvement in approximately 80 such cases in Scotland in the last 12 years.
Previous blogs have highlighted how Collaborative practice works
So why do I think Collaboration more likely to lead to successful resolution than a more conventional approach?
My top ten reasons are as follows-
- The lawyers involved in Collaborative practice are experienced, highly trained and receive ongoing specialist training;
- Support is available within the process from Collaborative coaches and financial specialists who undergo similar training;
- The clients make a commitment to open and honest disclosure of their financial documentation;
- The clients undertake to prioritise the children of their relationship;
- All experts such as surveyors and business valuers are instructed on a joint basis;
- The process focuses on mutual interests rather than legal entitlements, providing opportunities for more flexible agreements;
- Protracted correspondence between the lawyers is avoided;
- Negotiations take place face to face in joint meetings;
- A written agreement is signed providing for both lawyers to be excluded if either client decides to litigate; and
- Collaborative practice is likely to be more efficient and cost effective than the adversarial approach used in litigation or arbitration.