Understanding the process of a ‘Collaborative Divorce’
Nobody spends their life wanting to get divorced, so when it happens the consequences can be shattering. Divorce affects all members of the family, although children suffer the most as they are unable to fully comprehend the nature of the problem. This is especially true in a combative separation.
When going the process, the parties concerned have to deal with the emotional stress of separation on top of managing all the legal aspects of deciding what to do with shared property and assets, in addition custody. This is where the best family lawyers in Sydney help to make the break up as smooth and painless as possible.
How to Pick the Right Lawyer
A divorce is a highly personalised issue and one that needs to be handled gently and with sensitivity. Qualifications and reputation will help you to pick the right person to help you. It is also important to choose a legal representative who listens and understands the situation.
Negotiation and mediation skills are mandatory. Depending on how bitter the split and how reasonable each party is likely to be, it will also be useful to look into if the legal representative and their firm specialises in collaborative law or contested court proceedings. Most of the best family lawyers in Sydney offer clients the option of a collaborative divorce or contested divorce.
What is a Collaborative Divorce?
If the split is reasonably amicable, it would be ideal for both parties to settle for a Collaborative Divorce. This is a process that helps the separating spouses involved to arrive at a mutually satisfying conclusion on all matters concerned. The divorce lawyers for each partner will commit themselves fully to reaching a fair settlement
The process, when compared to a contested court proceeding, is beneficial for both partners and especially for the children in the marriage. In Australia, collaborative law is relatively new as an option and has only been around for about 10 years, so it is important to keep in mind that no solicitor can be expected to have more experience than this.
What is the process?
The process is kick-started by the concerned parties signing an agreement to avoid appearing in court. As a result, there will be no court hearing. Depending on the complexity of the client’s situation, a series of meetings will be held with various numbers of people.
For instance, some law firms may suggest having ‘four-way’ meetings. This meeting comprises of the two ex-spouses, together with their lawyers, coming to agreements on how to share any property, finances and children.
During this process, some law firms may also engage the services of other professionals who are trained in collaborative law matters. These include accountants when dealing with complex financial matters and councillors who can look after the mental state of the ex-spouses and the children.
There may be a series of meetings until a mutual agreement has been reached. Typically, negotiations can take from one to eighteen months, depending on the complexity of the case.
What is the advantage?
There are many advantages associated with the collaborative dissolution method.
- This method allows the concerned parties (the to-be-separated spouses) to have more control over the details of the divorce settlement instead of a judge deciding on everything.
- There is no need to appear in court, cutting down the time needed to process the divorce. However, depending on the complexity of the case, it can take a while to reach an agreement.
- Both the ex-spouses receive emotional support, to help them to regain control of the situation. This gives a better chance of reconciliation. It can also lead to a better relationship and improved communication between the two former spouses later on.
- The children have access to counselling and other support services, to help cope with the difficult situation. The children are not subjected to the parents’ hostility, when compared with the usual legal divorce proceedings.
- The privacy of the ex-partners and children are protected at all times.
A Collaborative Divorce is when both parties are willing to respect each other’s rights and move forward. In such cases, all the details of the divorce will be decided by mutual agreement between the spouses with the help of their lawyers rather than by a judge’s orders.
Though a divorce can be a bitter and emotional struggle for all parties concerned, engaging the help of one of the best family lawyers in Sydney can help clients to achieve their desired goals in the best possible way.