collaborative family law practice is about the client's owning the process
Collaborative practice is about client's owning and shaping the process by which they resolve their disputes by engaging in open communication and information sharing.
In our collaborative practice, we assist and support clients to identify interests and issues, develop options, consider alternatives and make decisions about future actions and outcomes, respectfully.
We only work with clients to resolve their matter. If you are unable to settle your matter and need to go to court, we will refer you to another lawyer. That way our interests are aligned with yours and focus solely on the resolution without resort to litigation in a court.
This process can only be utilised when both parties to a dispute agree. The process is confidential as between the participants and involves full disclosure of all information between participants and proceeding in a fair way.
What does it look like?
1. We will meet with you individually initially to first assess whether this process is suitable for you and if so, to then prepare for a face to face meeting with your former partner and their solicitor.
2. We will have a face to face meeting with your former partner and their lawyer and discuss and sign a collaborative agreement, followed by identifying interests and issues. In this meeting, we will all work together to decide what steps need to be taken by each of us to advance the matter towards settlement. Tasks including timelines for completion will be assigned, and a date for our next face to joint face meeting will be arranged.
3. If necessary, we will seek assistance from other professionals, such as accountants, valuers, or children's professionals.
4. We will continue to have joint meetings until a resolution is reached.
5. Throughout the process, we will provide you with legal advice, as needed.
6. Once an agreement is reached, we will document that and formalise it if necessary.
When does it end?
It ends when you and your former partner agree that it ends, or one of you terminates the agreement to participate in a collaborative process.
We can terminate the agreement if:-
• You knowingly withhold or misrepresent information material to the collaboration process,
• you seek to misuse the process, or
• if one or both parties may be harmed or prejudiced by continuing to participate in the process, or
• the process is no longer effective.
Our Collaborative Practitioner
Deborah Awyzio of our firm is a qualified collaborative practitioner. She is an accredited family law specialist with the Queensland Law Society and has practised in family law since 1996.
Deborah sits on the professional conduct committee of the Queensland Law Society and will serve as Vice President of the Queensland Law Society from January 2014.
Deborah is also currently training to be a family dispute resolution provider and a mediator.
Deborah regularly undertakes continuing legal education in both substantive family law areas as well as the area of domestic violence, ethics and professional conduct and mediation.
Deborah is a member of Queensland Collaborative Law Association and the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.
Disclaimer : This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for a professional or legal advice. It is prudent to obtain legal advice from a family lawyer.