Is Collaborative Law for You?

Collaborative practice is likely to be your best choice if many of the following statements are true for you. Just take the test and see:

  1. I understand that minimizing conflict will be very important for us to produce the best possible parenting plan for our restructured family.
  2. I am willing to participate in face-to-face meetings with the collaborative team.
  3. I want to be aware of and to control how much we spend by doing tasks I can do for the team and making joint decisions about how best to use our resources.
  4. We are busy people, and I want to be able to plan any meetings and assignments around our schedules.
  5. I believe that much of the information we need is known to us and what is not can be shared with ease.
  6. I value our privacy and don't think it is the public's business to know our financial circumstances and other personal information.
  7. I recognize that this is going to be tough for us emotionally, perhaps harder for one of us than the other, so I would appreciate someone skilled in dealing with emotional issues to coach us and facilitate our communication.
  8. I would like to understand the short- and long-term financial consequences of the division of our assets and liabilities and the re-allocation of our income and expenses.
  9. Having neutral objective experts available to us to give us specialized advice makes more sense than each of us hiring an "expert" to say what we want to hear.
  10. I don't want to make decisions that have legal consequences without the benefit of a legal advocate who can advise me about the advantages and disadvantages of the choices I make.
  11. I prefer to get the matter over with as soon as we are ready.
  12. An amicable resolution that allows us to retain our dignity and feel we did the right thing for ourselves, our families, and our friends appeals to me.
  13. I really don't relish having a courtroom battle that results in a stranger making important decisions about me based in part on the skill of the trial advocate I select.
  14. I really don't like someone telling me that what works for someone else is going to be best for us. I want a solution that fits our unique circumstances.
  15. I think it is best for us to each have a competent advocate who knows how to collaborate, so that we can negotiate effectively.
  16. It fits my value system to try to resolve things in a peaceful way rather than fight about everything.

If you are the kind of person for whom most of these statements are true, you will be very likely to select collaborative practice as the preferred process for resolving your differences or negotiating your agreement.

"Before you rush into court, stop and think about what you really wish to accomplish. If you feel a need to punish your spouse or partner, or to feel supported, the court system will not satisfy such needs. In fact, it often does the opposite and is not the best way to solve family and personal problems."
– Associate Chief Justice A. B. Sulatycky

Dallas Alliance of Collaborative Family Lawyers, whose members are located in Dallas and Collin Counties.

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