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Expertise

Collaborative Law

We can use our experience to assess whether Collaborative Law is right for you. If you want to resolve your family law issues in a respectful and dignified manner, where you retain control of your decisions then it may be right for you.

What is Collaborative Law?

In collaborative law, the clients and their lawyers agree to co-operate and work together to create fair outcomes to their financial or parenting disputes without involving the court. This process is not suitable if the client’s case is already in court.

Is anyone else involved in the Collaborative Law process?

Clients involved in a collaborative law case, can choose to involve other professionals such as child psychologists, counsellors, accountants and financial planners who bring their expertise and guidance to the case. The lawyers focus on helping the clients negotiate and achieve a settlement of their dispute that is fair and takes into account what the clients wish to concentrate on.

What are the advantages of using Collaborative Law?

Collaborative law allows the client to retain control of the decision making process after a separation. A judge does not decide their case. What is important to clients and their family is the focus the collaborative law case.

What are the disadvantages of using Collaborative Law?

If clients cannot reach an agreement and a court case is required, clients must appoint new lawyers as the collaborative lawyers will not be able to continue to act for them.

What if my partner and I are in conflict?

The collaborative law process is focused on minimising the conflict in a separation by working towards an arrangement that suits the clients. The aim is to achieve a better working relationship between the couple after separation, particularly if there are children involved and future communication is required between the couple.

Should I consider Collaborative Law?

Collaborative law allows clients to deal with their separation issues in a way that suits their family and circumstances. The process is aimed at avoiding a court case and reducing the emotional and financial stress.

What does Collaborative Law involve?

The client and their former partner must each retain a lawyer trained in collaborative law to advise in their case.

The clients and their lawyers must each sign a participation agreement / contract setting out the rules and terms for the collaborative process. Importantly, if either party commences court proceedings, each client will need to retain new lawyers in the court case. At all times, the collaborative law process is about keeping the clients out of court, and this is achieved by arranging “face to face” meetings.

What do the Collaborative Law meetings involve?

The lawyers and the clients all take part in the negotiations at meetings, at a venue of their choice, not at court. By being involved in all of the meetings, the clients keep control of the negotiations and communications, not the lawyers. Once an agreement is reached, the lawyers document the settlement agreement, which can then be filed with the court for orders to be made. That agreement then becomes binding on the clients.

Is there anything I should be aware of about the Collaborative Law process?

It is crucial to the process that clients must use specially trained collaborative lawyers who understand what is involved in the collaborative law process.

At Kells, we have lawyers that are trained in this process who meet regularly with other local collaborative lawyers to ensure that this service is professionally applied to our clients.

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