Collaborative law is a relatively new way of resolving family and other legal disputes. Instead of the traditional adversarial process, collaborative law uses a dispute resolution process in which the parties agree not to go to Court and commit to resolving their issues and achieving an outcome that meets the needs of all parties.
Collaborative law is particularly suitable for the resolution of financial and parenting issues arising from separation and divorce. The collaborative process is designed to achieve equitable outcomes and foster cooperative relationships between the parties, both during the collaborative process and after, which is in the best interests of the parties and their children.
- Clients, their lawyers and other professionals work together, in collaboration, over a series of joint meetings;
- Lawyers and clients focus on settling the dispute instead of preparing for Court;
- Private communications between lawyers is kept to a minimum;
- The involvement of clients gives them control over the process;
- If the parties are cooperative and willing to comply with their disclosure obligations, communicate and compromise, the collaborative process is a more cost-effective and efficient means of dispute resolution in family law matters than the alternative of litigation; and
- The skills parties learn to apply during the collaborative process can assist them to communicate and cooperate even after the dispute is resolved. This is especially valuable if the parties have children and wish to retain a post-separation relationship for the benefit of the children.
Importantly, collaborative law is not for everyone or for every dispute. If discussions between the parties break down and a settlement cannot be reached, the lawyers for both parties are disqualified and no longer able to continue acting for their clients.
RKL’s Magda Kron is a Collaborative Law Practitioner and a Member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. She can assist you in determining if the collaborative process is suitable for you.
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Published in Collaborative Law on 13th Jun 2011
The adversarial battle field Traditionally, when one or both parties come to the decision that they are unable to agree about property division and/or issues concerning their children, they seek resolution through the court system. Although family law requires the parties to make a genuine effort to resolve their disputes either by direct negotiation or mediation, it is not uncommon that the lack of trust and goodwill between parties after a relationship breakdown makes resolving the issues difficult. Therefore it left to the parties’ lawyers to negotiate on their behalf. Once the parties have retained lawyers to “fight” for their perceived entitlements, the adversarial process take...Read More »