27 Jan Q&A on Collaborative Practice in Family Law
Question 1: What is Collaborative Practice?
Collaborative Practice is a voluntary dispute resolution method of resolving family law issues without recourse to court litigation. The parties work with their own collaboratively trained lawyers, a facilitator and sometimes other experts to creatively problem-solve issues using face-to-face communication without conflict.
Question 2: Is it for everyone?
Collaborative Practice may not be an option in every family law case, however if you wish to have respectful communication with your ex-partner, want a continuing relationship for the benefit of your children, prioritize issues and want to avoid litigation, then it is likely that Collaborative Practice is right for you.
Question 3: Can we avoid court altogether?
Yes. The aim is for a final agreement to be reached at the end of the process which is then formally documented into binding court orders but without the need for any court attendance. In the unlikely event that the process fails to achieve a final agreement, then it may be necessary for court proceedings to be commenced.
Question 4: What is a collaborative facilitator/ coach?
Your collaborative facilitator/ coach is a highly trained and neutral third party that case manages and facilitates the Collaborative Practice process.
Question 5: How long does it take?
The Collaborative process is conducted by way of round-table meetings and will often achieve a resolution generally within 3-5 meetings. Of course this will largely depend on the family’s particular circumstances, their assets and issues, and if these are highly complex then it may require more time to achieve a resolution. This however is to be compared with the current extensive delays in court proceedings which result in cases usually taking 2 to 3 years or more to reach finality.
Question 6: How do legal costs of a Collaborative Practice compare to the court process?
While you will pay legal fees for your collaboratively trained lawyer and facilitator, there is a significant benefit of reduced costs compared to court litigated matters.
For further information about Collaborative Practice, please contact Solari & Stock and one of our expertly trained family lawyers will be able to assist you. You can book an appointment on 8525 2700 or click here to request an appointment via our website.