LITIGATION                                  COLLABORATIVE                


Who Controls the Process?

The judge and the rules of procedure.

The judge makes the decisions on

motions and the ultimate decisions

on the the issues of your case - your

financies and your children. 

You and spouse/parent control

the process with the help of the team

and you and your spouse are the

decision-makers for your future.



Lawyers must coordinate hearing

times with the judge’s calendar and

each other’s calendars and your

availability.  A party can stall a case

by not cooperating with scheduling

and the backlog in the courts can

delay hearing times.

The professionals and you and your

spouse control the calendar.  The goal

for your case is to be time efficient

which is also cost efficient.


Degree of Adversity

Encourages competition among the

lawyers and the clients.  Lawyers can

fuel their own client’s anger, which

causes costs to escalate.

Encourages cooperation and

creativity among team members;

teaches participants to collaborate.


Costs - evidence for financial proof

Formal discovery (exchange of

Financials) wastes time and

money having the attorney analyze. 

Proofs for the case often involves

the hiring of two or more experts. 

Neutral financial expert analyzes

family financial with divorce in

mind or income for child support, thus,

saving attorney hourly fee and an

additional fee of another expert.


Costs – parenting plan

To prove parenting disputes that may

or may not rise to the level of what

you intend to have the court order,

generally, means having a court 

order social investigation or parenting

coordinator or having the child's

therapist testify.  

Neutral licensed mental health

professional to help with some of the

parenting issues and to agree on a

plan that will be the best for the



Costs – attorneys

Lawyers get paid by the tenth of an

hour.  The more paperwork lawyers 

file and cause you to respond to via

your lawyer costs more money = $

The more time need by the lawyer,

and more requests for court time,

the more the lawyer gets paid. 

If you settle, the income flow stops.


Lawyers are dedicated to working as a

team, AND your lawyer and your

spouse’s lawyer have agreed they will

not litigate your case.  Your

lawyers can still be your advocate

while working with the you and your

team and your spouse to get an

agreement that will benefit the family.



Costs – emotion – anger v. peace

The focus in litigation is on your

emotional differences and blaming

the other to fuel the fight.  The more

figh, the more money = $ for your

lawyers and the more money = $

the lawyers make = the more money

= $, your family LOSES.


The focus in collaborative are on the

areas of agreement and promote

problem solving with education and

information.  We are proud of the

least amount of money you spend.


Costs – emotion – threat v. safety

You feel threatened because you

feel like you have no control and you

feel like you have to fight or you feel

like your attorney files a bunch of

motions so you control the tempo but

really you do not know the outcome.

You feel safe because you know that

your team and your spouse are

working towards the same goal and you

know that neither side can drag you

into court.



The reality is that the judge has

limited options because of

the family laws.  Also,

the judge has limited knowledge

because you are forcing the judge

to make decision about your

finances and your family. 

That decision is based on sometimes

a one or two day trial (8 hour or 16

hour period).  The evidence code

restricts all of the evidence that you

may want to share with the judge. 

The judge can only make a decision

based on his/her


NO ONE “wins”.

The reality is that no one is winning

because you are experiencing the

breakup of your marriage/family.

the collaborative law experience

is meant for a win/win for you and

your spouse because you both are

making your own decisions with

expert help and guidance.


Results – public v. private

Family law courts and documents

are open to the public and available

to see.  

Your meetings and financial matters

for your family can stay private.