Collaborative law is a dispute resolution approach where lawyers and their clients work in a co-operative, open way to reach a fair settlement.
Collaborative law is a relatively new approach that is based on these main principles:
- a mutual pledge not to go to court
- a mutual pledge to respect each other
- an honest exchange of information by both partners
- a solution that focuses on the highest priorities for the spouses and their children, and achieving solutions driven by those important things.
Collaborative law differs from conventional legal practices. With collaborative law, you and your former partner keep control of the decisions rather than handing them over to a third party like a arbitrator or judge. For this to work, both parties consent in a written participation agreement to be a part of a collaborative process. The outcome is still a binding legal agreement.
A collaborative approach provides face-to-face sessions to produce an honest exchange of information and expectations. Financial and family experts can be a part of the process too, providing information to both parties, and helping to develop solutions. When the issues are discussed openly and calmly, problem solving can be more effective.
A collaborative approach gives parties a great deal of flexibility in terms of outcomes – you can create a solution that suits your circumstances with provisions that would not be an option in a litigation forum.
Some cases are certainly resolved using collaborative law. However, many cases require more assertive approaches such as mediation, arbitration, and early neutral evaluation, or aggressive litigation.
For more information about collaborative law, visit our FAQs or contact us to speak with one of our Jones Mitchell family lawyers who are members of Queensland Collaborative Law and experienced in practising in collaborative law.