Is the Process of Collaborative Law for Everyone?

Man and woman sitting together on couch

Written by Maritza Verdun-Jones /South Point Law Centre
Notwithstanding that the collaborative law process is an excellent option for alternative dispute resolution, the participants examining this process as an option must determine whether this particular process is right for them.

As an experienced family law lawyer, I would highly recommend the collaborative law process to many people with diverse circumstances – with the exception of situations wherein there may lie a significant power imbalance. For example, if there is a history of physical, psychological or financial abuse, the collaborative process may be inappropriate.

The collaborative process requires that both participants are transparent with all relevant information which may assist the parties towards reaching a satisfactory resolution to the various legal issues they may face. It will be extremely difficult for the participants to reach a satisfactory outcome in this process if one or both participants are deliberately concealing relevant financial, asset and debt information. Likewise, if one or both of the participants hold back on their true fears, hopes and concerns, it will be very difficult for the participants to reach a place of empathy and understanding of each other’s respective concerns. In these sorts of situations, the parties may reach an impasse and be required to terminate the collaborative law process and hire litigation counsel.

Maritza Verdun-Jones
South Point Law Centre