Collaborative Law

Collaborative law puts you and your former partner in the driver’s seat, allowing you to craft a more meaningful outcome for your family following separation, and one that is free from conflict.

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Collaborative law is an alternate form of dispute resolution for respectfully resolving family law matters, without going to court.

Collaborative law is often referred to as “mediation with advice” where each party engages a collaboratively trained lawyer and other professionals to identify the important issues for them, discuss the process, and determine if it is right for them and their situation.

If you both agree to a collaborative pathway, you will each need to engage a collaborative lawyer. At this stage, the community of collaboratively trained lawyers is a relatively small one, however our team of collaborative divorce lawyers in Toowoomba, Ipswich, North Lakes, Brisbane, and Dalby are well connected within that community. This makes sure that you benefit from healthy working relationships to facilitate a collaborative outcome.

Once you and your former partner have found a collaborative lawyer that is right for you, you then need to sign a collaborative practice contract confirming that you agree to undertake a collaborative process and will engage in a way that is appropriate, as well as acknowledging that your collaborative lawyer (or any member of their firm) will not be able to represent you if the matter needs to proceed to a litigation stage.

Negotiations are conducted in meetings with all parties and any neutral collaboratively trained experts present. These experts could include accountants, financial advisors, mediators, psychologists, communication specialists, or counsellors who each party agrees to be involved in the process. An agenda is agreed to before each meeting, which means that everyone knows exactly what is on the table and can be prepared for those discussions without any nasty little surprises.

BWB offers fixed-fee, no-obligation initial appointments with a collaborative divorce lawyer. Find out if this pathway is right for you by contacting us today.


What are the benefits of collaborative family law?

You and your former partner once had something very special and unique. Collaborative law lets you honour that relationship, even after it has ended, to preserve what you had and especially your emotional and financial wellbeing, and that of any children you share.

  • Minimise conflict now and well into the future
  • Avoid court and the emotional and financial expense that can bring at an already difficult time
  • Prioritise your children’s needs and future wellbeing
  • Maintain dignity, respect, and privacy
  • Allow yourself to communicate effectively
  • Give yourself better control over the process
  • Provide for a fairer outcome based on your needs, wants, and desires

Is collaborative law suitable for my family law matter?

In our experience, most people would like an amicable resolution to their family law matter that doesn’t cost the earth or their emotional wellbeing. Collaborative law certainly fits the bill.

To help decide if collaborative law is right for you, consider the following and how agreeable both parties are to each of the below principles.

  • Are you committed to behaving in a respectful manner towards each other?
  • Will you be transparent about your financial situation and exchange all financial information?
  • Will you maintain confidentiality about the matter and express your needs frankly and honestly?
  • Will you make sure your children don’t feel caught in the middle?

If this sounds suitable to you and your former partner, then collaborative practice is a cost-effective and efficient alternative to resolving your family law dispute, and one where an agreement can hopefully be reached without the threat of court proceedings.

It is also important to note that if there is a history of domestic and family violence in the relationship, then collaborative practice is not the right choice for you and you ought to speak to a specialist family lawyer to ensure your safety and learn what your options are.


What if collaborative law doesn’t work?

If collaborative law does not work and court is the only alternative, the collaborative lawyers must withdraw and cannot represent either of you in court proceedings and litigation.

It is very rare that this happens but, if it does, we will always provide you with a quality referral to assist you on the next step of your family law journey.

Make an appointment with an experienced collaborative divorce lawyer today.

Best Wilson Buckley’s Max Sutton is a trained collaborative divorce lawyer.


Collaborative Lawyers in Brisbane, Toowoomba, Ipswich & North Lakes

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