Family lawyers are now engaged in a new method of resolving marital disputes called ‘collaborative practise’, which facilitates communication between you and your partner by the use of various skills.
This process will empower you to participate actively in bringing about your own resolution. Uniquely, it gives children a voice within the process and brings together into one team a range of specialists who work with families in crisis, thus offering you the best available expertise in one creative resolution orientated structure. The team all working together will actively work to find resolutions tailored to suit your family. All team members are collaboratively trained.
You will each come to the table with your own collaborative lawyer, who is there to advise and guide you through the process and will give you legal advice as and when required. Many people find this comforting and feel better empowered as a result. The lawyers manage the process.
The team is structured to your families’ particular needs. There is little or no correspondence, making the process transparent and cost effective. There are no hidden costs. You will be aware of all work going on in your case. Since everyone works in a team pulling together, then only one expert is required, as opposed to a more complex court situation where there can be two valuers and two financial specialists dealing with the one case etc.
Collaborative practise offers a one stop service to families in crisis; the opportunity is there to get financial advice, legal advice, mediation skill, assistance with child issues, and assistance with communication and emotional management all within the service offered. The team can be expanded or contracted to meet any needs of the family and there is no need to outsource any assistance or to take any advice elsewhere.
All drafting can also be done within the collaborative process and any agreements can be ruled or made an order of the court as required. Not all lawyers are collaboratively trained and you should check carefully before seeing a family specialist that he or she is in a position to offer you a full range of options, so that you can be fully informed and choose the option best suited to you and your familiy’s needs.
The website of the Association of Collaborative Practitioners, www.acp.ie, will give you a list of qualified lawyers in your area. Many collaborative lawyers are also trained mediators and they bring those additional skills to their practise. I am a trained collaborative lawyer and a certified mediator.
See also the website for the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, www.collaborativepractice.com.