John O’Sullivan has been practicing in Collaborative law for many years.
Collaborative law is an alternative dispute resolution process which aims to avoid litigation. The parties make a written agreement that sets out the rules of the process, the most important rule being that if the parties choose to commence court proceedings, the parties’ lawyers are disqualified from representing them. Collaborative law takes a holistic approach by involving professionals such as accountants, financial planners and counselling professionals who work cooperatively with the parties to reach settlement. The parties have face-to-face meetings in which information is shared and solutions are discussed.
This process is not for everyone. The success of the process depends on good faith, openness and willingness of the parties to communicate directly with one another. The parties must be able to actively participate and identify the individual interests of the other party. Additionally, if the parties choose to proceed to court they will need to retain new lawyers. However, if collaborative law is an option open to the parties, there are many advantages. Parties are assisted by professionals who are trained to identify their interests and negotiate to reach a mutually beneficial agreement. Collaborative lawyers are also committed to reaching a resolution as they have no incentive to prolong proceedings or exacerbate the conflict. The process is less stressful and emotional than court proceedings, and can therefore lead to a more amicable separation, which is an especially positive outcome when children are involved. Collaborative law is flexible and leaves the parties with a high level of control.
If you are interested in learning more about collaborative law and whether it could work for you, contact us on 6389 0305 or 0417 091 960.