Collaborative Divorce attorneys cannot represent their clients in court. Collaborative divorce attorneys can only help you reach a settlement and do what is legally needed to formalize your settlement. This encourages everyone (including the lawyers) to do their best to reach agreements, and to use a resolution-focused approach. Collaborative Divorce keeps you out of court.
There are other benefits. Because going to court is no longer an easy option, many Collaborative Divorce attorneys invest the time and effort needed to learn the negotiation and settlement skills that truly make them settlement specialists. The requirements of Collaborative Divorce also provide comfort that the discussions will remain confidential — no one can use what was heard in court.
While the requirement that Collaborative lawyers cannot go to court on contested matters can provide significant advantages, the primary disadvantage of that requirement is that in the event the Collaborative Divorce process ends without reaching agreement, all parties will need to transition to new lawyers. However, with roughly 90% of Collaborative cases resulting in settlement, many divorcing couples feel that the advantages far outweigh that much less likely potential disadvantage. Most people feel relieved to work with lawyers who cannot make threats of litigation and who are laser-focused on helping them reach agreements. (Collaborative lawyers still prepare all the legal paperwork to formalize your agreements, including all court appearances that may be needed.)