COLLABORATIVE FAMILY LAW IN CANBERRA
We have a particular interest in Collaborative Practice. This is an approach to family law that aims to resolve family law issues based on the ‘interests’ of all parties, as opposed to a traditional ‘positional’ based approach.
Collaborative Practice is a voluntary dispute resolution process in which parties settle without resort to litigation.
In Collaborative Practice:
1. The parties sign a collaborative participation agreement describing the nature and scope of the matter;
2. The parties voluntarily disclose all information which is relevant and material to the matter that must be decided;
3. The parties agree to use good faith efforts in their negotiations to reach a mutually acceptable settlement;
4. Each party must be represented by a lawyer whose representation terminates upon the undertaking of any contested court proceeding;
5. The parties may engage mental health and financial professionals whose engagement terminates upon the undertaking of any contested court proceeding; and
6. The parties may jointly engage other experts as needed.
Collaborative Practice provides you and your spouse or partner with the support and guidance of your own lawyers without going to court. Additionally, Collaborative Practice allows you the benefit of coaches, child and financial specialists all working together with you on your team.
In Collaborative Practice, core elements form your commitments to this process, which are to:
- Negotiate a mutually acceptable resolution without having courts decide issues.
- Maintain open communication and information sharing.
- Create shared solutions acknowledging the highest priorities of all.
Will it work for you?
Divorce or the ending of a long-term relationship is a sensitive and personal matter. No single approach is right for everyone. Many couples find Collaborative Practice to be a welcome alternative to the often destructive, and sometimes very expensive aspects of court proceedings. Collaborative Practice offers a mechanism for reaching a legally enforceable resolution of your issues whether you are married, or in a de-facto heterosexual or same-sex relationship.
If the following values are important to you, Collaborative Practice is likely to be a workable option for you:
- I want us to communicate with a tone of respect.
- I want to prioritize the needs of our children.
- My needs and those of my spouse/partner require equal consideration, and I will listen objectively.
- I believe that working creatively and cooperatively resolves issues.
- It is important to reach beyond today’s frustration and pain to plan for the future.
- I can behave ethically toward my spouse/partner.
- I choose to maintain control of the divorce/separation process with my spouse/partner, and not relegate it to the courts.
If this path reflects your own thinking, talk to us about your own situation. We can help you decide if Collaborative Practice is the right alternative for you and your family.
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