Collaborative Law is an alternative dispute resolution process by which lawyers and their client agree, by way of contract, to commit to the speedy and cost effective resolution of a matter without recourse to litigation in the Courts.
The primary difference between Collaborative Law and other forms of dispute resolution is that under a Collaborative Law Agreement (should a matter be unable to be resolved) the lawyers involved in the Collaborative process are precluded from acting for the parties if it is necessary to commence Court proceedings.
This is an advantage for clients, in that settlement or resolution of the matter becomes the primary focus for the lawyers and parties concerned. Cost savings resulting from the speedy resolution of matters without resorting to Court processes are obvious. It allows for family law disputes to be resolved with dignity and respect, and with as little stress to those involved as possible, especially children. Solutions reached within a collaborative law process are able to be tailored to your individual situation. This should be matched against litigation which necessarily means that a third party (the Judge) makes decisions about your life!
The agreement between the parties and their lawyers commits them to making absolute disclosure with regard to financial matters and guarantees absolute confidentiality throughout the process. Most importantly, it commits the parties to come to an agreement and carry out that agreement.
To date Collaborative law is relatively new in Australia but the process has met with much success in several overseas jurisdictions. Matters within the Collaborative Law framework are resolved in much the same way as matters before the Court, that is, we call upon the opinions of jointly retained experts such as valuers, psychologists, accountants, financial consultants and other professionals working together to help resolve the issues in dispute.
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Wiltshire Lawyers support and recommend the use of Collaborative Law. If you think the process may suit your circumstances please contact our office.