RMB Articles

Collaborate for Family Law Solutions

Posted 02-08-2015
Written by admin 101
Category Family Law

Collaborative Family Law is a different way to resolve issues that may arise out of the breakdown of a relationship that is an alternative to expensive and potentially destructive Court action.

The process involves the parties engaging collaboratively-trained family lawyers who are then involved in a series of “round table conferences”.

At these conferences the parties and their lawyers talk freely about their goals and concerns following separation and thereafter the parties and their lawyers work together to find solutions.

If necessary, the process can involve specialists (such as accountants, counsellors and child specialists) being brought in to assist both sides to reach workable solutions.

The key point of Collaborative Law is that both parties and their lawyers are required to enter into a Collaborative Law contract which stipulates that neither party shall threaten or commence court proceedings throughout the process.

If a final solution cannot be reached and court action is required, the lawyers engaged in the collaborative law approach cannot be involved. They must withdraw their representation. This ensures that the lawyers are hired for the purpose of assisting the parties to reach an amicable solution.

The advantages of Collaborative Law include:

  1. ability to focus on issues important to the parties; not just what the law (or lawyers) say is important;
  2. ability to remain in control of the outcome;
  3. preservation of the relationship between the parties, which is particularly important where children are involved
  4. ability to reach a “win win” solution which may fall “outside the box” of a conventional family law settlement.

Of course there are instances where Collaborative Law may not be appropriate - for example in cases of domestic violence, where there is a clear power imbalance between the parties or where there has been a complete breakdown of trust.

And it won’t suit those people who are determined to “have their day in Court”.

But in many cases Collaborative Law provides a sensible, mature and cooperative approach that makes it a little easier to get through what is a difficult and emotional time in people’s lives.

If you, your family or friends wish to enquire about a similar circumstance, please email us on our "Ask Us a Question" feature or call (02) 4228 8288 to speak to one of our specialist family lawyers.