Can compassionate litigation be possible?
While I talk a great deal about Collaborative Divorce because it is my preferred dispute resolution method, our office also does a large amount of divorce litigation (court based).
However, all divorce litigation is not the same.
I like to think of collaboratively informed litigation as Compassionate Litigation. This is based on the idea that our client is best served by an approach that minimizes conflict and pain, attempting instead to build a basis for cooperation after the divorce is over, whether about extended financial entanglements, joint children, or simply joint friends.
Collaborative Litigation means recognizing that we will have more success negotiating a settlement for our client when we keep in mind the needs and concerns of the other party.
Bullying leads to defensiveness, which makes reaching agreements harder. When we can have compassion for the other party as well as our own client, we can better understand where they are coming from and better put out proposals acceptable to both parties.
It means using the court as an opportunity to get reasonable results, to have difficult issues decided impartially. It means using settlement discussions to explore ideas and options. It means keeping in mind the long-term future of both parties to help them find solutions that work for them.