There is an advantage if a Collaborative Practice lawyer has been trained in interest based negotiation and the Collaborative Practice process and has conflict resolution skills. Collaborative Practice lawyers appreciate that both they and the Collaborative Practice lawyer for their client's former partner will help guide the clients through the Collaborative Process. Collaborative Practice lawyers refer to the need for there to be a change from an adversarial approach to a Collaborative attitude as the 'paradigms shift' necessary to effectively practice collaboratively. Unlike mediation where much time can be spent overcoming the other party's lawyers aggressive attitude in Collaborative Practice both lawyers have training in interest based negotiation. Both Collaborative lawyers act as guides for their clients through the process. Collaborative lawyers facilitate interest based negotiation using five major steps:
1. Identifying and communicating clients' goals
2. Defining the clients' interests and concerns
organising and analysing information needed to consider the interests and concerns
4. Generating resolution options
5. Evaluating the resolution options in the light of the interests and concerns of the parties.
The parties and their Collaborative lawyers are now commonly assisted in working towards a mutually acceptable outcomes with the assistance of neutral financial experts and family relationship consultants.
Collaborative Practice uses interest based negotiation to achieve a solution. The use of the Collaborative Practice process can be compared to white water rafting. The parties, their lawyers and the neutral family relationship consultant and financial expert are all together on the raft. The Collaborative lawyers work together piloting the raft because they are familiar with the river and know how to navigate. The family relationship consultant helps keep the parties safe and the financial Specialist provides knowledge of what is downstream.
Collaborative Practice helps parties work together to preserve ongoing parenting relationships and travel forward to achieve a mutually acceptable outcome.