While the words, “fine, I’ll see you in court” can be utterly terrifying, they also serve a vital purpose. When two people are not able to agree on an issue in their divorce, it often is because someone is asking for more than they reasonably should be entitled to. In these cases mediation and negotiation may not help level out what they are asking for. In the case of collaborative law seeing the inside of a court room will not happen, that leverage has been written out of the contract.
If you are in a collaborative divorce process, there is no incentive for the parties to take a reasonable position, because they know no matter what they ask for, you can’t force them to do anything differently than what they want to get, this is what a trial and a judge provide. This is ironic since the idea of collaborative divorce is to get the parties to come to an agreement together in a reasonable way.
However, if someone knows that they are going to have to present their case to a judge, or at least the threat of having to present their case to a judge exists, they are not going to want to look in the judge’s eyes as the unreasonable party, so the position they take will often be much more in line with the law.
This can ultimately lead to the collaborative process costing more and lasting longer than having the cases settled in court. Higher cost, a longer process, and not seeing the fruits of money and time spent try into achieve a settlement can lead to more stress. Divorce can already be stressful so choosing to opt out of the collaborative law contract will reduce some aspects of divorce stress, like the unknown end dates and chances for years of increased costs from ongoing mediation and negotiation.
Tom Brasier is a family law attorney in Portland, Oregon and is also practices family law in SW Washington. He specializes in divorce, custody, spousal support, and restraining orders.
Give us a call toll free at 1 (855) 328-9108 or locally in the Portland Metro area at 1 (503) 855-4777, or feel free to e-mail us with any question or to set up a meeting.