Why Collaborative Practice?-Respectful Divorce without Court

Why Collaborative Practice?-Respectful Divorce without Court

Why Collaborative Practice?

What we learn from years of experience in Family Law is that most clients don’t want to go Court and most clients don’t want an ugly, bitter separation with their ex-partner.  They want to be more amicable, with a view to keep their relationship with their ex-partner as peaceful and cooperative as possible, especially when children are involved.

Collaborative Practice is a much nicer process.  It is completely different way of lawyering, where the whole purpose of it is, to assist parties, in a team environment, to resolve their matter, with the intention of preserving relationships and avoiding the need to commence proceedings.

How does Collaborative Practice do that?

1. Parties enter into a Participation Agreement at the start of the process and part of the Agreement is that the parties make a commitment that they do not intend to go to Court.

2. There is a high settlement in resolving matters through Collaborative Practice.

3. The process is less confrontational than a Court room setting

-The discussions take place through a number of Meetings, where Agendas are set as to what the parties will discuss.  This is different from the parties being against each other in a Court room environment.  It occurs in a more relaxed setting.

-The parties will each need to find lawyers that are both Collaboratively trained.  They will contact each other and agree on what Professionals are required to assist the matters to resolve including the choice of proposed Coach/ Facilitator.

4. You work with your ex-partner collaboratively as if you are part of ‘a Team’ rather than against each other in a traditional legal setting.

-The difference with collaborative practice is that the parties, each of their lawyers, the Coach/ Facilitator and any professionals that the parties jointly engage are all working together with a common goal; to resolve the parties’ family law matter, in a way that meets each of the parties’ interests.        

5. The Discussions are Open, Honest and Transparent.

-One of the benefits of Collaborative practice is that there is a real transparency in the process that you do not get from an Adversarial process.

-There is a requirement that the parties receive advice about their matter, in the presence of the other party.

-This takes away from concerns about distrust, lack of transparency, concerns about hidden agendas that often arise in a normal traditional setting.  It is commonly, the lack of trust and transparency that will often lead to difficulties resolving disputes.

-This is very different approach from traditional cases, because in traditional family law cases, the advice that you receive from your solicitor, is protected from being discovered because of traditional legal principles of ‘legal professional privilege’: the parties are prohibited from finding out the advice the other party is receiving.

6. Collaborative practice is interest based, Traditional Family Law Practice is Court Outcome based

-The Benefits of Collaborative practice is that, as a team, the parties work on considering each of the parties’ interests in their family law matter.  Each party can have varying interests and needs.   Many clients focus on wanting an outcome that is fair, that is quick, that avoids court and that leaves their relationship with the other spouse intact.  These are goals that are difficult to achieve through a Court room.

-In Collaborative Practice matters, the parties are focusing  on the parties’ common and competing interests; whether it is based on trying to resolve a parenting agreement or whether it’s trying to resolve financial matters.

-The aim is to avoid discussions that focus on ‘positions’ or ‘court based outcomes’ and trying to find a workable arrangement that considers everyone’s interests.

7. Collaborative practice can deal with matters that are ‘non-legal’ and that often get in the way of resolution

-Another benefit of Collaborative Practice is that the process is better equipped to deal with aspects that are relevant to the parties’ family situation but are outside of the legal aspects of their case.

-For example, there are often issues, such as relationship issues or emotional issues that provide obstacles to a party’s ability to resolve a matter.  The Coach/Facilitator is able to identify and work on those issues outside of the Lawyer group.

8. The parties can jointly employ Independent/ Neutral professionals to assist with providing both parties advice to assist the resolution.

Types of Neutral Experts.

i. A Neutral Psychologist that is able to recommend what they suggest in relation to the parenting matters,

ii. A Neutral Financial Planner who would be able to set out and explain what monies both parties’ need to live a comfortable life into, and after retirement;

iii. A Neutral Accountant who can inform each of the parties on many topics, including the value of a business, the taxation consequences for each of the structured settlements, for example.

Hear from the Experts

These are the main advantages of collaborative practice in a summary in a nutshell. If you like to learn more information in regards to the webinar please feel free to watch the video link on our website which shows four of our members in our Sutherland Shire Collaborative Practice Group, where we discuss the advantages of collaborative practice and how it works in a family law setting.

The link to the SSCP video can be found using the following link- https://fb.watch/692vBYAt4P/

Written by Nicole Quirk
Photo by
Leon on Unsplash

No Comments

Post A Comment