Collaborative professionals recognize that the focus needs to be on helping the entire family. To do this work, Collaborative attorneys must undergo a "paradigm shift." Instead of being dedicated to "winning" at all costs for their client, Collaborative attorneys are dedicated to helping their clients achieve the healthiest outcome for the family as a whole. Collaborative attorneys join the clients in pledging not to go to court and not to threaten to go to court in order to gain advantage in the settlement process. If the client does nonetheless file in court, the attorney must withdraw, and the client must retain new litigation counsel.
The Collaborative Process encourages creative problem-solving, and engages the strengths of all the Collaborative Team members and the parties to achieve the resolution most workable for each client and for the family as a whole. Collaborative attorneys are sensitive to this reality – that for their client to benefit, they must also be supportive of a good settlement for the other party. This is the special characteristic of the Collaborative Process that is not found in other alternative dispute resolution processes.