A cooperative approach to family law.

Collaborative Law

Separation and Divorce does not have to be a costly and ugly court battle. Using Collaborative Law ensures children's best interests are the focal point of your negotiations.

collaborative lawyer and law firm separation divorce

What is Collaborative Law?

Collaborative law is a dispute resolution process, facilitated by collaboratively trained lawyers who assist participants in resolving conflicts using cooperative strategies as opposed to adversarial methods.  Through a series of group meetings, collaborative lawyers and participants are encouraged to identify needs and underlying interests and then to generate solutions that meet those needs and interests.  At the outset of any collaborative law process, all parties involved agree to negotiate an agreement without going to court. This means Collaborative Divorce can pave the way for respectful relationships after separation or divorce.

What are the benefits of Collaborative Law?

One of the downfalls associated with allowing a Court to determine family law outcomes is that participants must give up all control over the outcome to a judge.  It is the judge who decides who “wins” or loses” and, more often than you might expect, neither party is happy with the result.  

Collaborative Law is often the better option for the following reasons:

  • It is based on open communication;
  • It explores a range of possibilities and provides flexibility in reaching a solution;
  • Participants have control over the outcome and the pace with which it is reached;
  • It can provide satisfaction to both parties, in relation to both process and outcome;
  • It can take less time than going to court;
  • It can cost less than going to court;
  • It takes your non-legal needs and what matters to you most into consideration;
  • A collaborative solution often results in a better long-term result; and
  • A skilled lawyer advises you and guides you through every step of the process.

Will a collaborative approach cost less?

Going to Court can be expensive. The Collaborative Process is a cost effective and transparent process designed to support well informed decisions in a settlement focused environment. This often means lower costs to you and your family.

Does the Collaborative Law Process minimize hostility?

The guiding principle of collaborative practice is respect. Collaborative family law lawyers are trained to communicate and facilitate an atmosphere of understanding and cooperation. 

Generally, the process unfolds with a series of settlement meetings with the lawyers and the parties present, in the spirit of open discussion. This will lessen the exchange of aggressive correspondence between lawyers and ensure that the parties understand what is happening in their case. A further settlement meeting is booked at the end of each settlement meeting, and this keeps the momentum of the matter towards a resolution. There will be difficult issues to resolve; however, the lawyers' task is to address and resolve the difficult issues, not just the straightforward ones.

You will find that the collaborative family law lawyers are able to communicate throughout the process, even if you cannot talk to your former spouse. Often in the adversarial process, lawyers don't communicate until a trial is approaching. Cooperation between the collaborative family law lawyers is a distinct advantage in achieving a positive settlement.

Does a Lawyer have to be trained to offer Collaborative Law?

Yes. If you are interested in learning more about the Collaborative process, or would like to discuss whether the Collaborative process is right for you, please do not hesitate to contact us.