James Meehan Reserve is a great enclosed playground towards the back of Dee Why Beach (surf…
Why litigate when you can collaborate your divorce matters?
Going through a divorce or break-up sucks! So why spend years fighting with your ex in court, when there is a far better and healthier and quicker way to get through the process!
The collaborative family law process is available to anyone who is going through a divorce or separation and is recommended where children are involved.
What is collaborative family law?
Collaborative Family Law has been practiced in Sydney for over a decade and is a well-recognised and established way of handling and sorting out all the issues that arise from the end of a marriage or de facto relationship, including same-sex relationships.
If you have children and are looking for pragmatic and flexible arrangements that will meet the needs of your children, using collaborative family law is very beneficial. This is because the process is a holistic one and focuses on needs, interests and concerns for everyone.
The process is solution and future focused, which encourages you and your ex to keep moving forward instead of drudging up the past or holding onto one fixed position.
Is collaborative family law for me?
It is for you if you want:
- To keep control of the decision-making process
- Keep out of Court
- Keep the legal costs down
- to look forward and move on with your life
- to negotiate with your ex
- to have a healthy and dignified divorce
- to co-parent with your ex-partner
- if you want your children to kept out of court
How does Collaborative Family Law work?
Before you agree to participate in the collaborative process it is crucial that you understand that like any process it has structure and boundaries. To begin the process, you and your ex-partner must use family lawyers who are specialists and who are trained in Collaborative Family law process.
These family lawyers have spent time in addition to qualifying as lawyers to train and qualify as collaborative family lawyers. This means they have learn how to shift from the usual adversarial (win at all cost) approach to one that is transparent, child-focused and looks to resolve obstacles in a proactive and meaningful way for those involved.
Once you and you ex agree to participate in the process, you must sign an agreement that until the process is complete or terminated by notice, neither one of you will litigate and if you choose to litigate then neither you or your ex can continue with the same lawyers.
The collaborative process is facilitated by a coach, who is not a lawyer, but usually has a mediation background.
You and your ex meet face to face with your lawyers and each week you set an agenda and work through all your concerns until agreement is reached.
Any agreements reached become final and legally binding.
What are the benefits of Collaborative Family Law?
- You and your ex-partner set the agenda items
- You and your ex-partner learn to communicate respectfully
- You are both legally represented
- You both agree on how the professionals are paid
- You can discuss non-legal issues
- There are no threats of going to court
- Your agreements are legally binding
What are some of the problems with Collaborative Family Law?
- Where there is domestic violence or mental illness it may not be the best way to settle your divorce
- No one ‘forces’ the other person to comply with their obligations to provide full financial documents
- No decision-maker
Pamela is the Principal of Cominos Family Lawyers since 2011. She has practiced as a divorce lawyer exclusively for the past 10 years. She has developed Sydney’s first and only Healthy Divorce Practice, which means that she and her lawyers are committed to ensuring that children thrive the separation of their parents; that marital assets are protected and preserved and that her client’s self-esteem and confidence remain strong and intact during these challenging times.
To contact Pamela directly email her at [email protected]
Disclaimer: The information provided here is not legal advice. It is only of a general nature for public information.