In the collaborative process, parties attempt to resolve their divorce or family law matter outside of court. It is traditionally an amicable process. Parties enlist collaborative lawyers and professionals to assist them. What happens if a party makes threats of litigation in the collaborative process?
In traditional negotiations, if there is no progress, parties may threaten litigation if a settlement is not reached. Sometimes, just the use of the word “litigation” or “court” can be used to get the other party off an unreasonable position or back to the bargaining table.
Can this tactic be employed in the collaborative process if settlement negotiations stall? The answer to that question is “no.”
Part of the collaborative process is not talking about “litigation” or “court”. Those words are effectively taboo as part of any participation agreement. Instead, parties are to put their full efforts into resolving their case outside of court. This means to refrain from inflammatory rhetoric that could be viewed as a strong-arm technique.
If parties reach an impasse, a better approach is to focus on the interests of the parties versus the positions. By focusing on interests, parties can often get back to what is really the issue.
Utilizing a collaborative professional
The utilization of collaborative professionals can also help. For example, a divorce coach might be able to communicate interests in a therapeutic manner versus one that is adversarial. They will steer clear from using inflammatory or divisive language.
It might also mean the utilization of a financial neutral or custody professional to obtain more information to help parties come to a creative resolution. Creative resolutions are often at the heart of the collaborative process.
During the collaborative process, language and words used all need to be in the spirit of compromise and settlement. This is the opposite of court proceedings where parties can attempt to gain leverage through the use of fiery rhetoric.
Practically speaking, if both parties cannot agree to speak constructively, and not threaten each other with litigation or contested proceedings, the collaborative process cannot and will not work. For this reason, both parties have to agree to speak diplomatically in collaborative sessions and not inflame through intimidating techniques.
If you are interested in a collaborative divorce, Stange Law Firm, PC can help. You can reach us at 855-805-0595.