Collaborative Family Law
Keeping in control of the process is a really important part of securing the best settlement outcome possible and in turn it enables you to confidently move forward with your life. Collaborative family law is one way of achieving this.
Is Collaborative Law right for me?
Collaborative Family Law may be an option for you if both you and your former spouse are seeking to resolve matters as amicably as possible and without recourse to the Court.
However, there are circumstances where collaborative law would not be an appropriate method of resolving your family law dispute.
For example, if there has been a history of violence or there is an existing and clear power imbalance between couples, it is unlikely that collaborative family law will be suitable for you and your family. We can assist in assessing whether your matter would be best resolved by way of a collaborative law or other approach.
What’s different about Collaborative Law?
The collaborative approach is centred on honesty and cooperation, without the threat of litigation. All matters raised and discussed through the collaborative law process are confidential. In this sense, the collaborative law process is much like an extended mediation process, which allows issues to be discussed and resolved over several meetings. If parties start the process of resolving their family law matter collaboratively then decide to cease the process without resolving the family law matter, they are required to retain new legal representation.
This means that attempts to resolve a matter collaboratively do not prejudice future attempts to resolve matters by way of litigation or otherwise.
Is Collaborative Law like a mediation?
Is there a Mediator to help us?
Collaborative practice in some ways is similar to a mediation in that the purpose is to help you and your former partner reach an agreement as to either ongoing interim matters, or finalising your matter generally.
A difference between collaborative practice and mediation, however, is that the former allows you to have a team to assist you both. This team can include various professionals such as Family Lawyers who are collaboratively trained, Accountants, Financial Advisers, and Child Psychologists.
Although there is no Mediator, the process almost always involves a Coach. A Coach acts as a neutral party and guides you through the process. A Coach can help facilitate discussions between you and your former partner, the idea of which is to help you reach a resolution.
Why do you agree to stay out of Court?
One of the great hallmarks of collaborative Family Law practice is that both you and your former partner agree to not go to Court while the collaborative process is ongoing. The looming ‘threat’ of Court is then not hanging over either of you as you come together with your team to finalise your Family Law matter. By eliminating this potential threat, you and your former partner can negotiate in good faith with one another. This is especially important when you have a continuing relationship with each other because of children.