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Questions You Want Answered > Collaborative Divorce - An Alternative to Going to Court > Why can't my collaborative lawyer go to court?

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There are two really good reasons for why your lawyer can't represent you if you go to court, one of which has to do with human nature, and one with the rules by which lawyers operate.  Divorce is hard, and in collaborative divorce, the clients, not the lawyers, make the decisions that will govern their lives into the future.  That's really hard work at a time when most people are emotionally and physically drained.  It's really easy when you're in that state to want to give up when you reach a roadblock.  Knowing that giving up and going to court would be more difficult that continuing to try to get through the blockage keeps the process moving, as there is no easy out.  At those times, you have to trust that your lawyer advised you to use Collaborative Divorce because they knew that the team could reach resolution. 

The second reason the collaborative process requires that you and your lawyer agree that the lawyer will not go to court has to do with how lawyers operate in the traditional litigation model.  In that model, the lawyer is operating by rules which require her to withhold knowledge and information from the other side unless they specifically ask for it.  The rules also permit and encourage lawyers to take advantage of the mistakes of the opposing lawyer or client.  Collaborative Divorce requires transparency.  It requires solutions that are acceptable to everyone, and it encourages both parties to have full access to all information necessary to reaching those solutions.  The requirements of litigation and collaboration are conflicting, and were your lawyer to be able to go to court, she would have to play by the more restrictive rules, litigation, and those rules contradict the letter and the spirit of collaboratiion. 

Last updated on September 5, 2013 by Karen Robbins, Attorney at Law