What Is A Collaborative Divorce?

Video Transcript

Oliver Ross, Owner of Out-of-Court Solutions: “Collaborative divorce is a process in which each spouse, each party to the divorce, has their own attorney and the attorneys involve accountants if there is substantial amount of assets involved. The attorneys might involve psychologists, if minor children are involved. The problem with collaborative divorce is that the attorneys that the couple hire, sign a pledge in writing that if the parties don’t settle all of their issues, that they will not represent their party in the litigation that would follow. In other words, the court proceedings that would follow. That’s kind of a set up because having been a trial lawyer for 19 years, I wanted my case either to settle or we were going to go to trial. So, when you hire a collaborative lawyer and engage in the collaborative process, the set up is that the lawyers thinking, “I got to settle this because if I don’t they are not going to use me anymore.” Lawyers are in business to make money and they don’t get to represent the parties, if the collaborative process doesn’t work.

I also have difficulty with the collaborative process because of all the other experts that are usually involved; child psychologist, accountants, appraisers. I believe that mediation, especially mediation with a professional Scottsdale Arizona mediator who has backgrounds in both law, business and psychology, can fill all of those roles and avoid the process of involving other professionals and also the mediator being a neutral third party, doesn’t really have a stake in it. In fact, I’ve trained over 40 lawyers in mediation, in my style, my situational mediation. And I tell them, the minute you get invested in a case, in terms of, settling in other words, you get invested, “They have to settle or it’s a failure on my part,” that’s the end of your role as a mediator. In other words, you’re doing your clients a disservice if you get invested. Yes, I’m very interested in my clients settling. I’m interested, but I’m not invested.

Collaborative lawyers, they are invested in seeing that people settle. And so, they’re likely to do whatever it takes; provoke, coercion, just whatever it takes to settle, which may not be really in the best interest of the partners.”

Author Oliver Ross Mediator By:
Out-of-Court Solutions
8350 E. Raintree Drive, Suite A-205
Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
Office: 480-422-3475
Fax: 866-929-1985
Email: [email protected]

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About Oliver Ross

Oliver Ross, JD*, PhD founded Out-of-Court Solutions Inc. in 1995 and since then has mediated over 3,000 divorce and family matters. He is a select member of the Maricopa Superior Court Family Mediation roster