Collaborative family law


What is Collaborative Family law?

Collaborative law is a method of resolving a dispute with the aid of a lawyer but without the courts.

Some of the goals of collaborative practice are to:

  • Achieve resolution in a way that is respectful, transparent and open
  • Provide the foundation for an ongoing co-parenting or working relationship.

Rather than seeking to resolve the dispute via legal proceedings, collaborative law focuses on negotiation (generally face-to-face) with the other party and often other collaborative law-trained professionals to facilitate a child and family-focused discussion between both parties. Such discussions aim to reach an agreement and an understanding based on an interest-based approach for the child instead of a litigious or rights-based approach.

The benefits of collaborative family law

One of the benefits of a collaborative approach is that clients take responsibility for their issues, the resolution, and for ensuring the interests of themselves and any children are always kept in mind.

It also ensures that all parties are involved fully in the discussion and negotiation of fair and appropriate terms. This can help ensure more satisfaction with the outcome and benefits all parties adhering to the agreed terms.

Being represented by an experienced, focused and able lawyer is very important. Our collaborative lawyers – including collaborative divorce lawyers – are trained in collaborative law and are ready to lead the collaborative law process.

Contact us

If you require expert legal services for family law matters, speak to us as soon as possible so that we can advise you and adequately prepare you for the range of legal avenues and options open to you that you will need to consider, including working with a collaborative family lawyer.

We are ready and able to provide advice, appear and brief experienced expert counsel on an urgent basis to best defend, safeguard and advance your rights and interests in all collaborative law matters. Contact us by calling 03 8379 1000 or using the Contact Us page linked above.  

The following article provides more information about collaborative law in Australia.


Collaborative Law in Australia A New Approach to Family Disputes

Collaborative law represents a significant shift in legal practice, particularly in Australian family law. This approach, which emerged in the United States in the 1990s, has gained considerable traction in Australia over the past two decades. It offers an alternative to the traditional adversarial legal system, particularly for resolving family disputes. This article examines collaborative law in Australia, its application in family law, and its implications for clients and legal practitioners.

What is Collaborative Law?

Collaborative law is a legal process that emphasises negotiation and cooperation between parties to resolve disputes without resorting to litigation. This approach involves a series of structured, non-adversarial negotiations where parties and their lawyers work together to reach a mutually agreeable solution.

The emergence of collaborative family law in Australia

In the context of family law, collaborative practice is growing across Australia. This trend reflects a growing recognition of the emotional and financial toll that contentious divorces and custody battles can take on families. Collaborative family law offers a more amicable and less combative avenue for resolving issues such as property division, child custody and spousal support. It enables lawyers to stay out of court to resolve family law disputes.

How does collaborative family law work?

The process typically involves a series of joint meetings where both parties and their lawyers engage in discussions and negotiations. What sets collaborative family law apart is the commitment by all involved to reach a settlement without going to court. Lawyers practising in this field require specialised training in collaborative law and often work alongside other professionals such as mediators, financial advisors and child welfare specialists. Collaboratively trained lawyers use collaborative law in a dispute resolution process.

What are the key features of collaborative family law?

Collaborative family law has several key features that set it apart.

Voluntary participation – both parties must agree to engage in the process voluntarily. This includes both parties signing a participation agreement.

Transparency and disclosure – there is an expectation of honesty and full disclosure from both parties regarding all relevant information.

Mutually beneficial solutions – the focus is on finding solutions that consider the interests and needs of all parties, including children.

Professional support – this often involves a multidisciplinary team approach, including legal, financial, and psychological support.

What are the advantages of collaborative family law?

Collaborative family law offers several benefits for all parties by:

  • Reducing conflict by fostering a cooperative environment and minimising emotional stress and conflict.
  • Placing a strong emphasis on the best interests of children.
  • Being more cost effective than traditional litigation approaches because it avoids the court process.
  • Offering privacy and confidentiality, unlike court proceedings.
  • Providing more control and flexibility, as parties have more control over the outcome and the timetable.

Collaborative family law in Australia offers a transformative approach to resolving family disputes. It aligns with a broader movement towards more empathetic and cooperative legal practices. As this approach continues to evolve and gain acceptance, it can potentially change the landscape of family law in Australia, offering a pathway to resolving disputes grounded in respect, cooperation and mutual understanding.

Get in touch to learn more about our collaborative family law services. If you want to speak with a collaborative practitioner, contact us on 03 8379 1000 or use the Contact Us page linked above to get in touch.

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divorce lawyer melbourne

Level 6, 326 William Street, melbourne
(03) 8379 1000

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