Collaborative family law offers a fresh and dignified approach to resolving the issues that arise out of relationship breakdown. In a collaborative process, the clients and their lawyers agree to work together to find a fair and workable solution to whatever financial or child-related issues need to be addressed without involving the court.
The collaborative discussions between you and your partner and both lawyers are able to explore options suitable for your family's circumstances which may not be considered by a judge when they see you in the more formal court setting.
A collaborative approach allows for a greater degree of co-operation between a range of professionals involved in helping families. Clients involved in a collaborative process will have access to the skills of child consultant, accountants and financial advisers who can bring their expertise to the process when necessary, ensuring that both partners and their lawyers the tools, information and understanding to shape a fair settlement.
The presence of a case manager/coach, who is also collaboratively trained, assists the parties in communicating constructively which is important if you are parenting children together and need to maintain a workable relationship in the future.
Whilst the majority of sessions will be "5 way" meetings between you and your partner, the lawyers and the coach, there may be "3 way" meetings with a family coach or financial adviser and an expert may attend to assist at a general session resulting in a "6 way meeting".
Collaborative family law has been practised in the USA and Canada since the early 1990s and more recently in Australia, UK, Ireland and Europe. It is now recognised as a very successful means of Alternative Dispute Resolution.