14 October 2014 There are choices other than going to court - The Collaborative Process

By Melanie Rubin

In Brief

When you separate it is your opportunity to write your divorce story. It can be complicated, drawn out and costly or as simple, short and inexpensive as you and your partner choose it to be. The Collaborative Process is the out of court option that allows you to take control and find solutions best suited for you and your family.

The Facts

Instead of you each engaging your own lawyers who will then thrash matters out in letters and in court about finances and parenting, in the Collaborative Process you each instruct a lawyer and will have a series of face to face meetings to sort things out. The process is known for resulting in a quicker resolution of matters, leads to better ongoing relations between ex spouses and is overall better for children. It brings about a sensible and tailored outcome that works for you.

Parenting and financial cases are able to be effectively dealt with by collaborative law.

The collaborative practice starts by you and your ex-partner agreeing to resolve things without going to court. The lawyers work together to find solutions and reach agreements in a conciliatory manner. Often other experts such as accountants, psychologists or valuers are involved as neutral parties to assist in the process.

The Collaborative Process is about avoiding disagreement and looking for areas of shared aims and common goals. We all work together as a team to understand one another’s concerns, find and focus on your common happiness, explore possible choices; you and your ex-partner will be responsible for information gathering and together we will reach solutions suitable to both of you. During the process you and your ex-partner will each have your own lawyer who will always be able to support, guide and advise you in reaching the negotiated outcome.

By taking a different approach and agreeing to collaborate you can resolve your family law separation issues with dignity and avoid the court process.

Any agreement that you reach via the collaborative process becomes binding and enforceable once it is formalised so at the end you will have a binding agreement.

In the process, you will treat each other with respect, explore possible choices, listen to one another’s perspectives and let go of what went before to focus on the opportunities that lie ahead.

And the best is, throughout the process you will not be alone. We’ll be at your side each step of the way explaining issues and helping you achieve your goals.

For further information, please contact our family law team.

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This article is not legal advice and the views and comments are of a general nature only. This article is not to be relied upon in substitution for detailed legal advice.

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