Collaborative Law is a relatively new approach aimed at helping separating or divorcing couples. I trained as a Collaborative lawyer because the collaborative approach to family law made a lot of sense to me and many clients agree.
The collaborative process is not for every couple who decide that they want to get divorced or separate, but it is certainly worth considering because of the impact it can have on all parties concerned, particularly any children.
Collaborative practice is a client centred approach which focuses on finding solutions to problems created by the breakdown of a relationship such as financial matters and children issues. It seeks to promote the long-term interests of all parties involved and assists couples to work towards an agreed settlement without going to Court.
Each client has their own specially trained collaborative lawyer and rather than engaging in traditional correspondence which can sometimes increase costs and inflame the situation, when emotions are already running high, the parties are encouraged to participate in face-to-face meetings with their lawyers instead.
The couple, with the assistance of their lawyers, then seek to negotiate a financial settlement and resolve any issues about residence and contact relating to the children. To succeed, the process requires good faith on all sides but it certainly can provide a quicker and cheaper legal solution than heading off to a contested Court hearing.
Divorce, in whatever form you choose to proceed, can be a painful process for all concerned but with the collaborative approach there is much more chance of reaching a solution which takes into account the needs of everyone affected.
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