The first reason is that collaborative divorce attorneys enter the process with an entirely different mindset about what their role is. This is often referred to as a ‘paradigm shift.’ Rather than advocating to win their clients the largest settlement possible regardless of the cost and who gets hurt, collaborative attorneys enter with the goal of reaching a fair and reasonable settlement for all parties involved. Toward this end, these attorneys are not so much hired guns as they are conflict resolution specialists.
Though they do advocate for the best interests of their client, they do so in a way that is respectful of the other party. During the collaborative process, the attorney seeks to help his client maintain good relations with their spouse even after the final settlement agreement is signed and the divorce decree is issued. Furthermore, there is a deeper level of trust between opposing attorneys during the collaborative process. They do not look at each other so much as adversaries, but more as partners in a collaborative effort to satisfactorily resolve all the disputes involved in the case. Though they are still primarily representing their clients, they do not have a ‘win at all costs’ attitude toward the process.
Perhaps the main reason why the collaborative process is so effective is that it gives participants the ability to resolve conflicts in a creative way and in and environment that is non-adversarial. This means that instead of each side’s attorney looking for weaknesses to exploit, the attorneys work together toward helping both parties get as much of their legitimate needs met while not hurting the other party in the process. This is what makes the collaborative process unique from all other types of dispute resolution processes.