(collaborate, verb: work with others in order to achieve something)

The aim of collaborative practice is to keep you both directly involved in your property settlement negotiations, from a base of :

  • shared knowledge of your finances
  • strong independent legal advice and
  • sensitive emotional support

so that you can sit in the same room and be part of the respectful negotiations, with your participation deciding the outcomes of the settlement.

As part of an interdisciplinary team (family lawyers, psychologist and financial planner), assisting you, we all collaborate to provide the full range of the above support, if and as required, as part of this one process.

What about the child issues?

Do you have a child or children that you are concerned about? How will s/he cope with this separation?

Given my career experience, I am passionate about ensuring that children are not used as collateral between separating parents. While your marriage is over, you will always be connected through your child/ren. You can access these services as part of the full collaborative process or independently:

  • when and how to tell the kid/s
  • what to say in response to ongoing questions from kids
  • how to relate to one another, for the sake of the kids
  • how to best ensure that the kids adjust in a healthy way to their new experience of family
  • what about extended family issues
  • parenting plans
  • life after separation with healthy communication and parenting problem solving

So how is a collaborative process different from the traditional divorce process?

Essentially, the traditional approach involves you and your partner each selecting a family lawyer, who generally uses an adversarial approach (based on conflicting interests) to fight on your behalf. The lawyers talk to each other, without you being present. Children`s issues and your emotional well being plus your ability to understand all the financial complexities are not usually part of that process. Should a settlement not be easily reached, the process can be drawn out with spiralling emotional and financial costs, resulting in possibly having to go to Court.

A collaborative approach keeps you directly involved in negotiations. You and your partner`s complete understanding of financial issues, ability to negotiate with emotional confidence, shared interests plus personal needs, children`s needs and future parenting relationship post separation, are all important to us. You receive independent legal advice from a trained collaborative and experienced family lawyer, who supports you, throughout the collaborative process. You and your partner agree beforehand to settle out of court.

How will you benefit from collaborating?

  • You choose a dignified process that prevents the potential emotional damage of an adversarial fight
  • Your kids’ interests will be addressed
  • You get much better value (legal, emotional, parenting, financial support), for the money you spend
  • You will learn effective communication skills that are always useful
  • You are more likely to have an amicable relationship after divorce
  • Generally you will resolve your property settlement and child issues in a timelier manner