I believe that Collaborative Law is becoming popular at this point in time simply because it makes sense. Antiquated social taboos about divorce have been stripped away. In this post-modern age defined by social networks and the World Wide Web, in every aspect of our political, social and economic environment, people are more willing to be transparent and share their personal experiences with one another. The finitude of our lives in the face of our fast paced existence leaves little time for expensive and superfluous legal maneuvering, especially when it comes to our families. The horror stories about divorce and its consequences of those going through it have been documented on television, in the movies, in books and in academic treatments such as the 25 year landmark study by Judith Wallerstein, Julia Lewis and Sandra Blakeslee, “The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce”. Dr. Wallerstein has documented the common feelings for grown children of divorce: “Why am I so afraid of conflict? Why do I have such a fear of commitment? Why am I always waiting for the other shoe to drop even at moments of success?” The effects of divorce reach far into the future and handling the unfortunate situations in the “least worst way” should be encouraged by the legal community. [Could you expand on this?]
Collaborative Law is a natural outgrowth of the wider alternative dispute resolution movement. In all areas of practice, lawyers have long seen the waste of time, energy and money involved in all types of civil litigation. Even if the lawyers will not admit it, their clients certainly feel it in their wallets. Arbitration, mediation, and Collaboration are all designed to reduce unnecessary loss of time and money. Moreover, marriages are different than virtually any other type of relationship which may be subject to litigation. Business partners or corporations rarely sleep together or bear offspring for whom they each share moral and legal responsibility. The win-lose proposition of litigation for the sake of ego and materiality is antithetical to resolutions required by today’s families.