1. Clients make their own decisions with the support and advice of their advisors. In traditional lawyering clients are often steered in a particular direction due to the constraints of the court system and case law.
2. Clients retain the power to create a resolution that fits their particular needs and priorities. In traditional lawyering the court system and case law limit the outcomes that clients can anticipate.
3. Client advisors may include not only attorneys, but also coaches, and financial and child specialists. In traditional lawyering experts are brought in to analyze and provide testimony, not to offer assistance in developing solutions to unique family circumstances.
4. All information is voluntarily shared. In traditional lawyering there is a very extensive and expensive process of discovery.
5. Good faith efforts to explore options are central to the process.
6. Skills are developed which enable parties to handle new issues as they come up. In traditional lawyering parties are often left with resentments and hostilities that worsen an already volatile situation and make co-parenting even more difficult.
7. The process moves at the pace required by the clients. In traditional lawyering the every case is governed by the courts' Differentiated Case Management System.
8. Collaborative attorneys work only as settlement specialists with the best interests of the entire family as the comprehensive goal. If the disputing parties wish to litigate they will need to hire litigation lawyers.