I just heard an NPR news story about parking lots. It was more interesting than I expected. There were sound bites from Joni Mitchell's song, Big Yellow Taxi ("They Paved Paradise and Put up a Parking Lot") and a Seinfeld segment where they got lost in a parking garage looking for their car. The story was explaining the obvious -- people are always worried about where they are going to park when they drive somewhere.
It occurred to me that there's one more reason, that I've never heard anyone articulate, for using Collaborative Law to work through a Family Law case. Easier parking!
In litigation, the main action takes place downtown at a courthouse. Parking is almost always a problem there. In Fort Worth, we are lucky to have a parking garage next to the Family Law Court Building, but it often fills up and it's expensive. To make things worse, there's a new civil courts building under construction across the street. When it's finished, guess where those lawyers, staff, witnesses, jurors and litigants will park. You might find parking on the street, but it's a 2-hour limit and how many court appearances only last 2 hours or less? Not many. So, a lot of people get parking tickets and that's a financial pain.
How does Collaborative Law contrast? We agree to not go to court. You don't have to park at the courthouse. We work things out in a series meetings at offices. We usually meet at the attorneys' offices, but sometimes we meet at other convenient sites, including at the other professionals' offices.
In over 10 years of doing Collaborative cases, I've never had to pay for parking.
That's probably not enough reason by itself to choose Collaborative over litigation, but it's a nice benefit of the choice.