Patience and Persistence Prevail
The collaborative process has many redeeming values for the disputants. Primary among these is the ability to pace the divorce process to the needs of the parties. In litigation the court system is not concerned with the emotions or psychological status of the parties, only business matters involving money and assets and debts or those matters that involve the children. In contrast, in a collaborative divorce the attorneys and the neutrals who assist the parties are trained to be sensitive to the whole person, which includes not only ”business matters” but the emotional health and well being of each party as they transition through one of the most difficult events that can occur in ones life time.
In this case, the parties believed that they could productively discuss with each other, without having the attorneys or other neutrals present, but would simple need some time to do so. That time stretched from weeks to months to several years but the entire collaborative process was successfully completed with only two “joint meetings” and a host of telephone calls and attorney/client consultations. A facilitator was involved and proved critical to keeping one of the parties from terminating the process, resulting in a fully amicable and highly tailored result that met the unique needs and circumstances of the parties. This case demonstrates the old adage that warns against picking fruit before it is ripe. In litigation the emotional processes have their own pace which litigation timetables ignore.