collaborative practice

what is collaborative practice?

Collaborative Practice is an alternative dispute resolution method primarily used by couples undergoing separation, emphasising cooperation and minimising adversarial conflict. It involves each partner working with collaboratively-trained lawyers to address legal, financial, and emotional issues without court proceedings.

how does Collaborative Practice assist couples?

Collaborative Practice assists :

  1. Immediate and ongoing conflict is reduced by fostering cooperation and open communication.
  2. Couples are empowered and maintain control over the outcome of their separation, actively shaping the agreement.
  3. The process operates confidentially and respectfully, ensuring personal matters remain private and allowing parties to preserve dignity.
  4. It circumvents and avoids the need for time-consuming and emotionally draining court hearings.
  5. The process emphasises the best interests of any children involved, ensuring their well-being is central to decision-making.
  6. Collaborative Practice provides customised and tailored solutions that consider each partner’s unique needs and objectives.
  7. Its cooperative nature often leads to healthier post-separation relationships between ex-partners.

how can lawyers assist in collaborative practice?

Lawyers in collaborative practice:

  • Facilitate discussions between partners.
  • Provide legal guidance.
  • Ensure a fair and balanced process.
  • Sign a participation agreement outlining principles such as respect, transparency, confidentiality, and a commitment to avoiding court proceedings.
  • May work alongside other professionals like accountants, financial advisers, mediators, psychologists, and counsellors when necessary.
  • Withdraw from the case if an agreement cannot be reached, and the court becomes the only viable option.

so, what does it all mean?

Our Fraser Murray, senior lawyer and family lawyer, is our collaboratively trained practitioner. Fraser believes that the Collaborative Process approach to dispute resolution is a beacon of hope for couples facing separation. Its carefully orchestrated steps, from the initial meetings to the eventual resolution or withdrawal, form a journey that embodies dignity, respect, and a commitment to achieving amicable settlements.

It is helpful to get legal advice when you separate to ensure that you have considered all the relevant factors for your personal circumstances and to work out whether Collaborative Practice might assist your family. Contact us for an appointment with Fraser Murray for a further confidential discussion.

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