Mediation and Collaborative Law
Why Use Mediation or Collaborative Law
Parties to a dispute often have a compelling interest in settling their differences without destroying their future relationships. Mediation and Collaborative Law, two alternative dispute resolution methods, reduce conflict instead of escalating it at a time when discord may be standing in the way of agreement. Mediation and Collaborative Law employ needs and interests- based negotiation methods, as opposed to the more traditional use of adversarial, position-based negotiation. Each party in a mediation or collaborative law case is assisted in identifying their needs and interests, the needs and interests of the other party, and creative options for agreement on all of the issues that require resolution. Mediation and Collaborative Practice promote and model respect and dignity in the negotiation process, and in so doing establish a blueprint for addressing areas of disagreement in the future. Fran Whyman is committed to using mediation and collaborative law to work with individuals, couples and family members to help them try to reach a comprehensive, fair, and reasonable agreement, without protracted litigation and the exhaustion of financial resources.
What is Collaborative Law
Parties seeking out-of-court settlement of a dispute often desire the help of an attorney to advise, guide, and assist them through the settlement process. Collaborative lawyers work with their clients to promote the same type of interest-based negotiation and settlement that characterizes mediation. In a collaborative case, both parties employ collaborative attorneys committed to helping their clients reach out-of-court settlement. The collaborative attorneys advise their clients, help prepare them for the negotiations, participate with their clients in the negotiation sessions, and draft the agreement. Often the parties will agree to employ the help of other collaborative professionals during the negotiation process, such as a neutral divorce coach, focused on helping to keep the conversation focused on the goals of the parties, or a neutral financial consultant, whose role it is to help the parties better understand the tax and other financial implications of the decisions they need to make.
Length of the Collaborative Process
Each collaborative session lasts approximately 2 to 2 ½ hours. It is impossible to say how long it will take to reach agreement, but a collaborative settlement generally saves parties the cost and time associated with protracted litigation.
Additional Benefits of the Collaborative Law Process
Collaborative Law empowers the parties to a dispute to play an active role in the agreement process. It accomplishes this by creating an environment that focuses on active problem solving in a respectful and dignified environment. Both parties are encouraged to be the architects of their settlement. The process encourages them not only to reach agreement, but to develop a new blueprint for settling disagreement in the future.