By Angela Li
Collaborative Law is a process that is designed for resolving disputes. It involves parties reaching an agreement via a series of 4 way/ roundtable-style meetings with you, your ex and your lawyers. The focus of everyone around the table in Collaboration is on reaching an agreement that “works” for the parties, in both the short term and longer term, and thinking “outside the square” about different options that might work for you (not just what the law says should happen in your case). It’s about teamwork, cooperation and having respect for each other.
Collaborative Law offers a number of benefits over the traditional adversarial process and/or litigation. Here are a few:
- You have control over the process – the pace, the costs and the outcome. The lawyers will guide you through the process, but you will be making all the decisions (as opposed to say a Judge if you go to court).
- We work in a team towards a mutual goal.
- We will consider your goals and your interests, not just your entitlements.
- Collaborative Law promotes a respectful, working relationship between you and your ex. This might be particularly important if you have children and you have years of co-parenting ahead.
- The parties can decide together whether any experts are required (e.g. financial advisors, real estate agents, property valuers) and appoint a single expert.
- Any agreements reached can still be documented in a legally binding way, just like what would happen if you reach an agreement via negotiations.
Whether Collaborative Law will work for you will depend on a number of factors. Here are a few things you should consider:
- Is maintaining a working relationship with your ex important?
- Do you want to stay out of court, to try and work out an amicable resolution?
- Do you trust that both parties will be open and transparent in sharing information?
- Do you both have mutual goals that you would like to achieve, for example, in relation to your children?
You and your ex will need to each instruct a Collaboratively trained lawyer.
Our lawyers are trained in Collaborative Law – why don’t you give us a call here at Alliance Family Law on (02) 6223 2400 to see whether Collaborative Law might work for you? Your initial conference is free and without obligation.