Traditional litigation is only one of the various routes available to parties to address family law issues. For many years it has been the default method of getting to a resolution. However, in recent years, we have seen an increase in clients interested in using less adversarial methods to come to a resolution with their spouse. In particular, there has been a rise in clients interested in using more collaborative approaches to resolving their family issues.
So what is it?
Collaborative law is a process whereby the parties commit to negotiating a resolution outside of litigation through a series of meetings with the parties and their counsel. It is based upon the parties’ agreement to cooperate and work collaboratively with each other to settle the issues. In fact, the process begins with both parties signing a contract to commit to the process of collaborative law and leave traditional litigation behind while in the collaborative sphere. The lawyers also commit to this process, remaining involved throughout the process to guide and educate clients, direct settlement discussions and provide advice.
The collaborative process allows clients to have more control over their outcomes and can generate results that are fine-tuned to the parties’ interests. The result can be a more amicable resolution with an agreement that realistically works for the parties’ specific needs.
Who is it for?
Everyone. Since the process allows for the parties to be flexible with their outcome and find an agreement that works for them, it can apply to all family law issues. It encourages communication and fosters a continuing relationship between parents to enable them to respectfully co-parent their children and establish a realistic custody and access plan for everyday life. It allows parties to find unique routes to divide their property that will work for their specific assets. And, it facilitates discussion to find genuine solutions to resolve clients’ need for support. The collaborative process can assist all parties to find a resolution regardless of what issue they are facing.
To find out more about collaborative law and how it can work for you contact our office to speak to one of our collaboratively trained lawyers.