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Collaborative Practice

Collaborative Practice

What is collaborative Practice?
Collaborative Practice is a relatively new way of dealing with family disputes. Each person appoints their own lawyer but instead of conducting negotiations between you and your partner by letter or phone you meet together to work things out face to face.
Each of you will have your lawyer will be by your side throughout the entire process and therefore you will benefit from legal advice as you go. The aim of collaborative practice is to resolve family disputes without going to court.
How does the collaborative process work?
You’ve both meet with your respective lawyers, discussed the different options and processes available and decided that the collaborative process is for you. What can you expect to happen next?
• You will both meet individually with your lawyers to talk about what to expect in the collaborative meetings which are usually referred to as joint meetings
• You and your lawyer will discuss what you both need to do in order to prepare for the first joint meeting
• Your lawyer and your partner’s lawyer will speak to each other either face to face or over the phone in order to plan for your first meeting
The first joint meeting:
• At the first joint meeting the lawyers will make sure that you both understand that you are making a commitment to working out an agreement without going to court and you will all four sign an agreement to this effect.
• You and your partner will be invited to share your own objectives in choosing this process and you will all plan the agenda for the next meeting. This will depend on your own individual circumstances but might include a discussion about how the children are responding to the separation how financial information will be shared and agree on who will bring what financial information to the next meet
• You and your partner will be invited to consider inviting a mental health professional to help with stress management, communication and the exploration of parenting concerns. A financial specialist may be invited to be part of a multidisciplinary team.
Subsequent joint meetings:
• Subsequent meetings will deal with you and your partner’s particular priorities and concerns. Other professionals such as specialists in pensions and financial planning or people trained to assist children in understanding and coping with the changes that your divorce or separation will bring to their lives can contribute to moving ahead. The meetings will enable you to reach agreement on how the finances will be shared or what arrangements need to be made for any children
The final meeting:
• In the final meeting documents detailing the agreements you have reached will be signed and your lawyers will talk you through anything else that needs to be done in order to implement those agreements. Sometimes a firm timetable for implementation will not be possible, for instance, if the family house needs to be sol
How long does the collaborative process take?
One of the benefits of the collaborative process is that it’s not driven by a timetable imposed by the court. So to a large extent the process can be built around your family’s individual timetable and priorities.

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Family law, divorce, wills and estate specialists for Adelaide and South Australia.

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Disclaimer: The information contained in this blog is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. Nothing in this blog should be deemed to create or constitute a solicitor-client relationship between any readers and Swan Family Lawyers. A solicitor-client relationship is created only when this firm agrees to represent someone and a written engagement agreement or engagement letter is signed by both the client and solicitor. In all cases, the reader should consult his or her own solicitor for advice. The information in this blog is based on Australian law.