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Family Law, Divorce, Separation

Collaborative law

Collaborative law is a legal process enabling couples who have decided to separate or end their marriage to work with their lawyers and, on occasion, other professionals in order to avoid the uncertain outcome of court and to achieve a settlement that best meets the specific needs of both parties and their children, without the underlying threat of contested litigation. The voluntary process is initiated when the couples sign a contract (called the “Participation Agreement”), binding each other to the process and disqualifying their respective lawyer’s right to represent either one in any future family related litigation.

The collaborative process can be used to facilitate a broad range of other family issues, including disputes between parents and the drawing up of pre and post-marital contracts. The traditional method of drawing up pre-marital contracts is oppositional and many couples prefer to begin their married life on a better footing, where documents are drawn up consensually and together.

Benefits of Collaborative Law

Although not practised at all law firms, collaborative law can be a very effective approach to resolving family disputes. Each party agrees to enter into the collaborative law process and signs an agreement that they will not go to court to resolve their dispute. In the event of the agreement breaking down then this will disqualify their respective lawyer’s right to represent either party in any future family related litigation.