“i will see you in court”. words that no doubt add significantly to the stress parties experiencing separation
do you know what other alternatives are available to you when you and your partner have to deal with the split of your assets and matters that concern your children? lengthy, costly and emotionally draining court proceedings should be a last resort.
You now have the option of using Collaborative Family Law to achieve your goals based on mutual respect.
Collaborative Law is recognised as an alternative dispute resolution option.
Since the early 1990’s, Collaborative Law has been successfully used in America and Canada to provide separated couples with a workable solution as far as issues pertaining to their separation are concerned. In Western Australia Collaborative Professionals WA was established in 2004.
In collaborative practice the parties agree to resolve their differences resulting from their separation without involving the Family Court. This means the parties agree not to commence court proceedings. To formalise their agreement the parties and their collaborative law lawyers enter into a participation agreement.
The parties and their lawyers agree to work together to achieve the best possible outcome for the parties in their circumstances and where needed, employ the services of other professionals e.g. financial advisors, accountants, child experts, counsellors etc. to help to achieve such an outcome.
The parties are very involved throughout the collaborative process, which allows them to retain control over the outcome and their futures.
Each party employs and pays his/her own Collaborative Law lawyer and will be responsible for his /her own legal fees.
Correspondence is kept to a minimum, which helps to keep costs down. Meetings between the parties and their lawyers are held from time to time to progress the collaborative process.
As the parties agree not to go to court, the parties will not incur the substantial costs associated with court proceedings.
The costs of employing experts e.g. valuers, financial advisors, child experts etc. are normally shared by the parties.
If you want a dignified, non-aggressive resolution to your family law matter, you want to avoid court costs and you want to be in control of decisions relating to your financial future and your children, Collaborative Family Law may well be for you.
As part of the process, the parties will have to be prepared to provide full financial disclosure, they will have to be willing to recognise the needs of the other party and the children and be prepared to consider various possibilities for an agreement.
For more information on Collaborative Family Law please contact us. Jacqui Brown, Annelie van Zyl and Helena Holland practise in the area of Collaborative Family Law.
While you cease being partners, you never cease being human.
Prominent Collaborative Law lawyer and mediator
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.