Collaborative Law Agreement

Why is it so important to formally sign an official Collaborative Law Agreement? Why can't you work collaboratively with the other lawyer but still go to court if the process doesn't work?

The effectiveness of Collaborative Law to spark creative conflict resolution seems to happen only when the attorneys and the clients are all pulling together in the same direction, to solve the same problems in the same way. If the attorneys can still consider unilateral resort to the courts as a fall back option, their thought process does not become transformed; their creativity is actually stifled by the option of conventional litigation. Only when everyone believes that resolution can only be achieved through collaboration is the process truly effective. Collaborative Law is not just two attorneys who like each other, or who agree to "behave nicely." It is a special technique that demands special talents and procedures in order to work as promised. By memorializing a formal agreement, the parties can be fully informed about the rules of the process and conform their expectations and behavior to the terms of the agreement.

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