Collaborative Law vs. Traditional Law

Collaborative divorce is possible in Arlington, Fort Worth and Mansfield, Texas

There are many differences between the collaborative process and litigation. The collaborative process is particularly helpful in a divorce case because it allows both parties to solve problems without blaming one another. The goal of the collaborative attorney is to help the client feel safe, respected and in control of his or her destiny. The opposite is true in a litigated divorce taken to court. In a litigated divorce, the opposing parties in the dispute often feel intimidation, fear, and a sense of powerlessness. Some attorneys purposely try to make the opposing side feel ill at ease so that they will feel pressured to settle.

Divorce:  A public or private matter?

The results of a litigated divorce are unpredictable. In a divorce trial, the opposing party may present private information that you may not want revealed in public. The atmosphere of a courtroom does not feel as safe as an office where a collaborative meeting would take place. In court, a party likely will be cross-examined by opposing counsel or have their testimony in depositions read aloud. A collaborative divorce case, on the other hand, is conducted with the utmost concern for both clients’ privacy and confidentiality. The collaborative meeting attended by the clients and their attorneys is set at a convenient time and place. In litigation, however, the parties have no control over a court docket.

Other significant differences between collaborative and traditional law might be:


  • Parties may be secretive, deceptive and try to hide information.
  • Time and money go to trial preparation, but less emphasis is on the settlement.
  • Legal fees can skyrocket if opposing sides seek depositions, discovery and hearings.
  • Parties may be displeased with results, especially if dictated by a judge.
  • Parties may not “just try” litigation.                                                              


  • Parties share the same information and work with transparency.
  • Parties hold “four-way” meetings that include dialogue between clients and their attorneys.
  • Parties discuss and agree upon the legal expenses they are incurring. There is an efficient use of resources, like time and money.
  • Parties are more likely to be pleased with a compromise they reached jointly. Agreements must be mutual. Settlements are not forced. 
  • If collaboration fails, litigation remains an option.               
      Contact the Law Offices of Stephanie Foster for more information about the advantages of the collaborative law process.