Collaborative law is an alternative method of dispute resolution, which must be established before any referral to a court.
In reality, it is a highly-organized process which will be implemented by the parties at certain stages of the disagreement; it relies on the consent and confidentiality of all the parties involved.
At root, the collaborative process is a contractual process undertaken by the parties and the lawyers taking part in it. It is materialised in the form of a participation contract in the collaborative process. Each party is assisted by their lawyers, who must be trained in the collaborative process to be able to implement it successfully. Both parties can agree on the possibility to appoint an expert to give them guidance on a specific point of their disagreement.
The purpose of this collaborative process is to seek a negotiated outcome, based on listening and consideration the interests of each party. This is key to ensuring that on reaching the conclusion of the process, each party will have re-established dialogue and restored links with the other, thus enabling a satisfactory working relationship to continue between the two.