How Collaborative Law Can Help You in Your Separation Journey
A seemingly popular and common misconception is that litigation and going to Court is the only option after separation. There is in fact another process to resolve disputes, that is known as Collaborative Law.
Separating from your partner is difficult and it is much like watching a jigsaw puzzle being pulled apart as you watch the life you built seemingly dismantle into a thousand pieces. The aim of litigation is to fight it out to determine which pieces of the puzzle you and your partner will get. Essentially neither of you win and you both end up with half a puzzle. The Collaborative Law process aims to put the pieces back together in a way that is mutually beneficial for both parties. You will work hard at getting the pieces to fit, but in the end, you both get to appreciate the completeness of a whole jigsaw puzzle.
What is Collaborative Law?
Collaborative law is essentially an approach to resolving family disputes without going to court. Unlike the court process, the collaborative law process is conducted using interest-based negotiation techniques rather than the traditional positioning bargaining approach. Collaborative law promotes cooperation, not confrontation. It enables and empowers separating parties to solve problems together with the assistance of lawyers to come up with mutually beneficial solutions and to achieve goals by mutual participation and agreement.
How Does it Work?
The entire process requires a team approach. Both you and your partner will have skilled and specially trained legal advisers, who understand how to reach creative settlements and who are concerned about process as well as outcome. Often other experts will also join to assist. These experts can include a neutral financial expert, a mental health professional and, occasionally, a child specialist or mediator.
You will engage in open and transparent discussion as well as integrated decision making during structured meetings. The agenda for each meeting is pre-determined by you, your ex-partner and the lawyers. Everyone works co-operatively to ensure that all relevant information is available to make reach an agreement.
What Are the Benefits of Collaborative Law?
- Reduces stress and conflict
- Past differences and unproductive behaviour patterns are left behind
- The process builds trust
- The collaborative team focuses on the interests of the entire family
- Compliance with final settlement is usually greater
- Less costly in time and conflict through
- Requiring full disclosure of assets as opposed to a lengthy investigation
- Allowing the parties and professionals to control the pace of negotiations
Here at Balance, our lawyers will work with you to support and assist you through the Collaborative Law process. If you are interested in learning more about the collaborative law process, please click on this link to download our Collaborative Law Brochure or talk with one of our team members to book in a free comfort call with a lawyer.
You can also follow the author of this blog, Lauren Quach on LinkedIn