Many people are finding that litigation is not appropriate where there will be an on-going relationship with the other party afterwards. Litigation exacerbates problems in the short term, and then resolves them in a way that can often be arbitrary and sometimes just plain unworkable. Studies show 93% of litigated divorces settle in the final stages before trial. Most end up back in court within 5 years.
So why not start the settlement phase before you spend lots of money on court filings which may never be read by a judge, and inflame the other party? Mediation might work for some couples, but others shouldn't give up the benefits of legal advice, advocacy, and support.
The collaborative approach has these advantages: 1. You are in charge, not your lawyer and not a judge. 2. You have a lawyer who can see things from your point of view, and help you negotiate to make sure your interests are protected. 3. Both parties commit to solving problems in a way that will work for both of you--keeping you out of court for the long run.
Only a handfull of lawyers in Alaska are trained in the Collaborative Process, which has been tested and refined to make this approach work. The process is generally slightly less expensive than the average litigated case, but you get better, more durable results, and reduce the likelihood that your case will turn into runaway litigation. We've all heard how bad that can get!