Collaborative Practice is a different approach to the resolution of family law matters that focuses on each party’s interests rather than entrenched legal positions. The Collaborative process looks for a family centered solution that strives to meet everyone’s needs. The Collaborative approach also offers the opportunity to bring in other professionals, who are also trained in Collaborative Practice, to provide advice, options and guidance on particular issues, such as parenting and finances.
It is not just for spouses who are amicable or conflict free. This approach can be an excellent alternative for high conflict spouses who are looking for assistance in reducing the conflict and keeping their separation away from court and costly litigation.
There are many benefits to the Collaborative approach:
- In the Collaborative process, your lawyer is by your side for every meeting, providing advice and support, as opposed to a mediation process in which clients often meet with the mediator without lawyers present.
- Each party signs a Participation Agreement, which outlines the guidelines for participation in the process and the commitment that each party is making to the process. The Collaborative process allows for greater participation from the parties and empowers them to make the decisions that will shape their family as they move forward in two separate households.
- The Collaborative process helps to provide parties with the skills and foundation they will need to communicate effectively as parents, once the issues related to the separation are resolved.
- Collaborative Practice is an efficient and effective process, often resulting in cost savings in the long term. When both individuals achieve a positive result they are happy and satisfied with, the need to return to lawyers to deal with issues in the future is minimized.