Collaborative Law is a voluntary dispute resolution process where the parties and their lawyers commit to resolving their disputes by negotiation without going to court. The collaborative process seeks to preserve respectful and equitable relations between parties – particularly in situations where an ongoing relationship between them will continue after the immediate dispute is resolved.
The goal of collaborative law process is to maximize the best interests of all parties and avoid the negative economic, emotional and social effects of adversarial proceedings. The collaborative process preserves the parties’ privacy and control over the outcome of their negotiations while at the same time ensuring sound legal representation with advanced dispute resolution skills.
Cooperative practice is similar to Collaborative Law except the option to go to court remains available to the parties. The approach of Cooperative practice is: “Negotiate first – litigate if necessary”. As such, many cooperative negotiations emphasise comprehensive financial disclosure and often move to effective discussions in four-party meetings, sometimes utilizing a third party neutral.