My husband also announced that he had spoken with an old friend, who happens to be a lawyer, and got the names of a few good collaborative lawyers in town, as well as one decidedly UNcooperative one. We have one lawyer in town who is notorious; he is the worst kind of bully, he will turn anything and everything into the most heinous conflict and can keep the nasties going for months on end (happily padding his bank account).
I'd passed on 4 names that my lawyer recommended - people he has a good working relationship with, and so would be able to move through the process quickly because there is a certain trust level there already. My lawyer feels strongly that we are not good candidates for mediation, because we were not both on the same page when to came to the separation and now, with so much anger coming from my husband, it would not work. The idea behind collaborative process is that both individuals have a lawyer present to ensure their rights are not trampled but both lawyers are committed to coming out with an agreement. My lawyer added that he has often seen the process become quite a therapeutic one, as the two parties work out an agreement that is fair and decent, and where the lawyers take on the role of facilitator, avoiding conflict instead of inflaming it.
I did not expect my husband to use one of those lawyers, simply because it was me who passed along the names (even though it would have been better for both of us), but I did ask him (pleaded with him, actually) not to use the one aggressive lawyer, saying it would strip us of every penny we have, that we would lose our home along with any hope of goodwill between us in the future. I was so hurt to hear that our old friend had given my husband this man's name in the list of lawyers he recommended, because he would know the damage he would inflict on me personally (he would rip me to shreds in the process of negotiating a "fair" settlement, no doubt forcing me to give up on any of what is owed to me). Of course, my husband met with this bulldog of a lawyer first - he wouldn't give me the name, and wanted me to believe he didn't know who he was meeting with. That he was just walking into a law firm with 12 lawyers and 15 associates, and saying to the receptionist that he had a 1:00 with "John's" friend. It was when he came back that he announced who he'd met with, and that he didn't seem like such a bad guy at all. Such a good guy, in fact, that he might even go with him. I burst into tears and pleaded with him to use someone who would help us through the process more humanely, for everyone's sake. He just flashed an evil smile at me and walked away. It totally confirmed that I'd had good reason to be afraid of his anger.