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Collaborative law - A different (better?) approach to resolving your marital dispute

Written and accurate as at: May 03, 2018 Current Stats & Facts

When couples separate, they often have difficulties reaching agreement. You’ve probably heard the horror stories of parties getting stuck in Court for years, and spending all of their money on lawyers and thought, “Surely there is a better way!”. Collaborative Law can be that way.

Collaborative law is a unique way to resolve family law disputes without litigation for both property and parenting matters, where your lawyer’s goal is to keep you OUT of Court.

What are the benefits?

Reaching an agreement absent court proceedings, through the collaborative law process, can save you a lot of time AND money.

Collaborative law can be particularly effective in parenting disputes where you and your ex need to continue to co-parent into the future. A battle at Court, is likely to have a negative impact on your parenting relationship. Collaborative law can help parents focus on what each of you want to achieve for yourself, your former partner and most importantly your children.

Something you may forget about, no matter how obvious it is in hindsight, is that litigation is stressful. You have just gone through one of the most upsetting and emotionally tyring times in your life, one you never expected to be in (separation). Your mental health matters. Staying out of court and taking a collaborative approach, can help protect you from the stress of litigation and protect you from further emotional distress. This helps you be a better parent or return to normal life as quickly as possible.

What is the process?

First and foremost, you need to discuss Collaborative law with your former partner and explain to them the benefits of reaching an agreement collaboratively out of court.

Secondly, you and your partner need to see separate Collaborative law trained lawyers. This is key as not everyone does it. If your lawyer doesn’t practice Collaborative law, the question is not only why not, but what are you missing out on by not instructing someone who does?

From then on, you and your former partner, along with your lawyers, work together as a team to help reach a resolution that is good for you. Collaborative lawyers advocate for values and interests, over positions and intractable views.

You as the client make the decisions and ultimately control the outcome without hostility because you and your former partner make the decision together.

A better process? I’ll let you be the judge.


Written by Cristina Cocchiaro, Senior Lawyer, from FGD Melbourne.

Office Address: Level 5, 466-468 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne VIC 3000

Website: https://melbournefamilylawyer.com.au/ 


Thanks to Kasey Fox, Director, from FGD Canberra.



This is general advice only and does not take into account your financial circumstances, needs and objectives. Before making any decision based on this document, you should assess your own circumstances or seek advice from a financial adviser and seek tax advice from a registered tax agent. Information is current at the date of issue and may change. Historical performance may not be a reliable indicator of future performance. You should not rely solely on past performance to make investment decisions.

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