Who Controls the Process?
Collaborative: You and your spouse control the process and make final decisions.
Litigation: Judge controls the process and makes final decisions.
Degree of Adversity
Collaborative: You and your spouse pledge mutual respect and openness.
Litigation: Court process is based on an adversarial system.
Collaborative: Costs are manageable, usually less expensive than litigation; team model is financially efficient in use of experts.
Litigation: Costs are unpredictable and can escalate rapidly including frequency of post-judgment litigation.
Collaborative: You and your spouse create the timetable.
Litigation: Judge sets the timetable; often delays given crowded court.
Use of Outside Experts
Collaborative: Jointly retained specialists provide information and guidance helping you and your spouse develop informed, mutually bLitigationeneficial solutions.
Litigation: Separate experts are hired to support the litigants’ positions, often at great expense to each.
Involvement of Lawyers
Collaborative: Your lawyers work toward a mutually created settlement.
Litigation: Lawyers fight to win, but someone loses.
Collaborative: The process, discussion and negotiation details are kept private.
Litigation: Dispute becomes a matter of public record and, sometimes, media attention.
Facilitation of Communication
Collaborative: Team of Collaborative Practice specialists educate and assist you and your spouse on how to effectively communicate with each other.
Litigation: No process designed to facilitate communication.
Voluntary vs. Mandatory
Litigation: Mandatory, if no agreement is made.
Lines of Communication
Collaborative: You and your spouse communicate directly with the assistance of members of your team.
Litigation: You and your spouse negotiate through your lawyers.
Collaborative: Outside court.