What is Collaborative Law?

The United States legal system is an adversarial system that pits a plaintiff against a defendant. When an issue is litigated, typically one side wins and the other side loses.  This system, unfortunately, does not work very well if the plaintiff and the defendant need to work together on things in the future. Litigation only serves to increase animosity in most cases, and it can be an expensive process that results in worse outcomes for all parties. collaborative law process

Fortunately, there are other options. Collaborative law is an alternative way to resolve legal disputes that removes the process from the court setting and that depends upon cooperation, rather than each party standing up only for himself and his interest. The goal of collaborative law is to trouble shoot and to resolve problems or disagreements in a way that works best for all parties, rather than for one side to fight out the issue in court and win. Collaborative law is a very different process than litigation, and you need an attorney with an understanding of this specific legal method of resolving disputes if you want to maximize your chances for success. Sepahi Law Group, APC can represent you if you are interested in using the collaborative law method to deal with disagreements or problems that have arisen.

Collaborative Law and Your Dispute

Collaborative law is most frequently used in situations when parties are having a disagreement but must move past it and continue to cooperate with each other on a future goal. For example, it is common for couples who are getting a divorce to use collaborative law. These couples do this to save money and avoid stress at an emotional time, and also to ensure that they do not cause their relationship to break down further.  This is especially beneficial when a couple has a child or children together who they will need to continue to work together to raise.

While especially common in divorce, collaborative law is also useful in other situations as well. For example, in the business world, disagreements may arise between partners or co-owners of a business, or between a company and its suppliers or resellers. Destroying the relationship between partners, co-owners or suppliers and sellers is usually an undesirable outcome that can have long-term consequences for the success of the business.  Litigation is likely to only exacerbate problems and the judge, without an understanding of the business or dynamics, may make a choice that leaves everyone a loser. As a result, collaborative law is frequently a better solution to resolving problems in these situations than going to court.

Collaborative law works only in limited circumstances when all parties are committed to working together to find solutions. The parties to a disagreement must agree to:

  • Voluntarily turn over required documents and evidence.
  • Act respectful to each other throughout the negotiation process.
  • Share outside experts to reduce the costs associated with these expenditures, such as when it is necessary to bring in an outside professional to value a business or its assets.
  • Refrain from threatening litigation throughout the collaborative law process.
  • Work towards finding a win-win solution.

Parties interested in the collaborative law method need to understand their rights to ensure they are treated fairly throughout the collaboration process. Sepahi Law Group, APC can represent you as you work to resolve your disagreements. Call today to schedule a consultation with a San Diego alternative dispute resolution lawyer to learn more.

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