Collaborative Law as an Alternative Route to Divorce

Law Blog

Divorce settlements do not have to be adversarial. Collaborative law offers an easier alternative to divorce settlements. Collaborative practice is simply a respectful dispute resolution method between parties who want a private, open and honest negotiation.  It is a fairly new practice in Australia, and it seeks to help couples resolve their settlements disputes without going to court.

Divorce lawyers are still involved in the process; however, the parties agree not to threaten each other with taking the matter to court. If you have recently filed for a divorce or have separated with your spouse, you should consider collaborative practice for the following reasons.

Advantages of Collaborative Practice

The major advantage about collaborative law is that the parties are in control of the decisions as opposed to having a third party make the decisions for them. Again, this process is much quicker and less expensive than going to court.

Also bear in mind that, family law in Australia stipulates that parties must seek resolution measures before going to court. Collaborative law also reduces bitterness and animosity that characterizes most court cases. Understanding the process beforehand helps you to plan accordingly.

Key Practices in Collaborative Settlements

Under collaborative law, each party is expected to appoint their lawyers and collaborative professionals who will be called upon to assist in the hearings. Each of the professionals called upon must sign a Collaborative Participation Agreement.

The process is conducted in a series of round table meetings with the party's lawyers present. The mood in these proceedings is open and each of the affected parties is free to raise issues that concern them. They are also expected to give suggestions on the best way to handle the issues.

Every divorce hearing is different and may have its own complexities. In light of this, the parties are allowed to appoint financial advisors and experts who are also trained on the collaborative law practices. These professionals assist in future asset planning and financial restructure.

If the collaborative process is a success, the divorce lawyers involved in the proceedings are expected to draw up a legally binding agreement that must be executed by the parties involved. A copy of the agreement is filed with a family court registry.

In the event that the negotiations and discussions are not successful, the lawyers representing the parties are expected to withdraw from the matter. However, they are free to assist the clients in getting other independent litigation lawyers.

To learn more about collaborative law, consider talking to local law firms such as Catalyst Family Lawyers.


27 January 2015

Break In: Everyday Legal Matters You Should Know About

My name is Jeanette Kennan. I have been a high school legal studies teacher for many years. As such, I am fascinated by legal cases I come across in the media. Family and friends often consult me about minor matters related to the law and although no expert, I can often point them in the right direction. It occurred to me that there may be other people out there who are not aware of basic legal issues. After all, you probably don't think about legal matters related to death, accidents or crimes until you find yourself in a crisis situation. This blog is designed to give you some introductory information about a range of legal topics. Hopefully, it will help you to be prepared and informed should a legal concern arise. I really appreciate you breaking in to my humble little site. Please enjoy.