Why has collaborative law become so popular?

Collaborative law is truly the wave of the future. No other alternative process has caught on so quickly or been adopted with such enthusiasm. Proponents of mediation struggled for years to gain its acceptance, while attorneys resisted the movement even more than clients.

In collaborative law, attorneys need not "give up" their clients to the mediator. Instead, they form a partnership with their clients to reach a peaceful resolution, a much more satisfying role for them both. The very nature of the traditional adversarial approach drives a wedge between whatever remains of the marital and parental relationship. The opportunity for mutual trust and respect is eliminated by trial preparation, interim court appearances, and the trial itself. The other party's weaknesses, failures, misdeeds and mistakes must be magnified and publicized in order to "win." The impact of such an ordeal can last years, or even a lifetime.

The collaborative law process breathes new life into the divorce arena. Agreements are more likely to be honored without post-divorce court action, and the parties feel better for having treated each other with dignity and respect. What we send out comes back and what we believe about ourselves becomes true for us. Collaborative law enables partners whose relationship is ending to move on peacefully. People who enter into new relationships without a lot of "baggage" from the past are more likely to have success. A positive spiral, instead of a negative, is created that can benefit the parties, their families, the attorneys, and the community as a whole. With the collaborative approach, divorce can become the gateway to a happier life.