Understanding the Collaborative Practice Approach

As an alternative to traditional litigation, the collaborative law process provides you and your spouse, partner, or co-parent with the support and guidance of attorney representation without the stress, expense, and unknowns of going to court. Disputes are resolved in a series of face-to-face meetings with attorneys and team members present and with the goal of respecting both parties’ shared goals. In many ways, the collaborative law process is better equipped than traditional litigation to leave your relationships with your spouse and your children intact, even as your family structure changes.

The key differences of the Collaborative Approach are:

  • You and your spouse sign a written pledge to not file suit against one another in court and that both attorneys will withdraw from the case if either party litigates.
  • You and your spouse agree to a free and open exchange of information without the necessity of formal requests for production and other discovery tools.
  • We, as your attorney; as well as your spouse’s attorney both commit to using our best skills to assist the parties in reaching agreement without having to resort to courtrooms and judges for decision-making.
  • You and your spouse both commit to respecting each other’s shared goals throughout the process.

While it’s not the answer for every family law case, the Collaborative Process is an excellent option when you and your spouse have similar goals in mind. For the process to work, of course, attorneys on both sides of the situation must be trained in the Collaborative Practice approach. At Landerholm Law, we’re trained in Collaborative Divorce – allowing us to deliver such benefits as:

  • Control. You will have more control over the process and substance of your dispute resolution than you typically would using the traditional litigation model. Decision-making and information sharing occurs throughout the process as needed, rather than at an arbitrary time dictated by rule or statute. The collaborative model also allows you and your spouse to settle more quickly and less expensively than the traditional litigation model.
  • Privacy. Trial transcripts and court pleadings are public records. Resolving your case outside of the courtroom allows you to maintain a degree of privacy that is generally not available in litigation.
  • Mutual respect. Everyone involved, including you, your spouse, and all attorneys pledge to maintain an atmosphere of mutual respect to foster the sharing of ideas and mutual problem-solving.
  • No threat of court action. Inherent in traditional litigation is the constant threat of court involvement—the “accept my settlement offer or we will just let the judge decide” model. In Collaborative Practice, the court is not involved until a full agreement is reached, enabling clients to brainstorm ideas without the constant threat that the other side will haul them into court.
  • Support of counsel and other professionals. You will have the legal guidance of the Landerholm Law Firm available to you as your attorney as well as the support of the other collaborative professionals to help guide you through the process and to ensure all issues are addressed and your highest needs are met.