I am Christopher Swan principal of Swan Family Lawyers.
I have been practising as a family lawyer for 30 years and in 1996 I established the firm Swan family lawyers.
In 2005 encouraged by the courts to look at alternatives to seeking judicial determination of family law disputes I commenced studies to obtain a Masters in conflict management and dispute resolution at the University of South Australia.
Whilst undertaking my mastersDegree I gained knowledge about collaborative practice as a dispute resolution process.
I continue to undertake extensive study and training to better assist my clients with family dispute management.
I have attended the International Academy of collaborative professionals annual forum each year in the US since 2008. I have recently undertaken conflict coaching training.
I was accredited by the Law Society of South Australia in 2008 as one of only a Family Law specialist. I am also an accredited mediator.
I continue to have a busy family law litigation practice and am now greatly assisted by Anthony Siklich solicitor and my team comprising Caitlin Swan my wife and an experienced personal injury lawyer and my administrative assistants Debra and Martine.
Resolution of disputes can be sought by going to court to have a judge provide a solution or be managed by the parties themselves. Litigation is the most expensive dispute resolution process and too often used. It is the Judge not the parties who make the decision.
I prefer to work with my clients and their former partners using collaborative practice to reach a mutually created settlement. The process uses a series of confidential meetings where you and your former partner’s goals interests and concerns are explored and outcomes that best meet those goals are agreed. When agreement is reached it can be recorded as a consent Order at the Court.
Collaborative practice is a process that focuses on the interests of parties and their children. It avoids confrontation in the court room. Collaborative practice seeks to minimise conflict and bitterness. You and your former partner will control the process and make final decisions. Jointly retained financial and family relationship specialist provide information and guidance to help you and your former partner develop an informed and mutually beneficial solution.
I like collaborative practice because I can go home knowing that I've helped my client move forward without going to to Court. My clients like collaborative practice because they are able to reach an agreement that is not impossed upon them by a court with less financial and emotional costs and litigation.