For courtroom lawyers, attorneys with well-honed trial skills, the idea of Collaborative Law and a Collaborative Divorce is at best challenging, if not downright discombobulating.
- Why would the parties agree to any condition that wouldn’t otherwise be consistent with or mandated under the NC divorce laws?
- Why would the respective parties in a terminal marriage do anything but protect their own, individual best interests?
- To collaborate means to build something. How is that possible when separation and divorce is the literal legal process of pulling apart a marriage?
- Why concede anything from the outset, understanding an impasse will result in finding another family law attorney for further representation and litigation?
The reason is simple: Litigation isn’t always the best option for you and your spouse. Duking it out in court can be both an emotional and expensive experience.
Our firm motto for divorce litigation is the Latin maxim: Si vis pacem, para bellum. If you want peace, prepare for war.
“Collaborative law frankly confounds me at times. I come from a courtroom advocacy background. If I say, ‘we’ll see you in court,’ I mean it. Essentially gutting that option, from the outset, takes away some level of leverage in negotiating. But that isn’t always a bad thing.”
– Bill Powers, Charlotte Divorce Lawyer
And yet, relative to divorce and divorce court, sometimes success is defined by the very intentional act of avoiding litigation through negotiation and compromise at almost any cost. That’s OK.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Collaborative law does not entirely limit your right to litigate a matter in court. The NC Collaborative Law Proceedings Law under N.C.G.S. Chapter 50-70 may be found here.
The terms and conditions of an agreement to proceed in such fashion must include a provision whereby the attorneys involved in the collaborative process are required to withdraw from representation if the dispute cannot be resolved through a Settlement Agreement.
You don’t have to decide whether to go the Collaborative Law approach right now. Part of our initial consultation with clients seeking legal representation for divorce in Charlotte involves giving options.
One of those options, which admittedly isn’t something we recommend in every instance, is a Collaborative Divorce. In the right set of circumstances and for certain people, it can be quite effective.