FRASER COAST FAMILY LAW CENTRE – Two lawyers working together collaboratively who share a common goal of harmony and dignity in your separation or divorce.

So What is Collaborative Family Law?

Collaborative Process – what it is and how it works to lead you to a resolution with dignity.

Collaborative Law is a revolutionary effective alternative to the traditional Family Law process, without the usual litigious and adversarial approach adopted by so many parties going through a breakdown in their marriage or relationship. The process incorporates an approach that does not add to your pain, leaving bitterness that may last for years. If you have children to consider then the process involves, as a priority, their best interests as a paramount consideration throughout the process.

With the Collaborative process you and your partner agree from the start that you will:

  • Not go to court, or even threaten to go to court
  • Communicate with honesty and respect
  • Make a sincere effort to understand each other’s needs and concerns
  • Promptly disclose all relevant information
  • Work together towards an agreement that’s in everyone’s best interests especially your children
  • Recognise that if the process is ended for whatever reason neither lawyer can continue acting for either party in any future proceedings

The Collaborative Process gives you a positive way forward. It is a proven process for lifting you and your partner beyond unproductive emotions of blame and past conflict to a resolution.

Even if there’s a lot of anger between you and you’ve tried other ways to reach resolution (such as court or mediation), the Collaborative Process can help you to reach agreement.

Collaborative Process gives you the legal, financial and emotional support to make sound decisions and move on with your life.

The Collaborative Process can save you time, heartache and money. Above all the process leaves you with your dignity.

In the typical adversarial process your lawyer negotiates with your partner’s lawyer to try and get you the best outcome based on your instructions. Working against each other is stressful, and you can waste a lot of time (and money) fighting for an anchored financial position rather than an outcome that gives you contentment and a good pathway to a new start in your life.

You can also end up with a win-lose outcome and in too many adversarial cases, nobody really wins.

In the Collaborative Process you each have your own Family Lawyer helping you sort out your needs, just as in the traditional process but instead of working against each other, your lawyers meet together with the two of you to help you create a settlement that’s right for both of you. It is a process that puts you and your partner in control of the outcome in a collaborative way.

The cost of a Collaborative Family Law case relates directly to how quickly you and your partner can reach an agreement. The Collaborative Process saves you time and money by being more efficient, with everyone working towards the same goal: A resolution that serves the needs of both parties.

Another strength of the Collaborative Process is the support you can get from professionals skilled in the emotional and financial aspects of separation, if you and your partner feel you need them. At first glance, you might think that the Collaborative Process drives up the cost of separation by involving these other professionals. In fact, the opposite is true.

Some of the professionals that may be helpful to assist in the process are:-

Divorce Coaches – Cost less per hour than a lawyer, and they can help you move past conflict that might otherwise keep you stuck for months, or even years. They can teach you skills for more effective communication and techniques for lowering your stress.

Financial Specialists – Also cost less than a lawyer. They can work with you to help you feel less intimidated by the numbers and avoid the long-term consequences of poor financial decisions.

Child Specialists – The Collaborative Process protects children. The Collaborative Process is unmatched when it comes to protecting children from the long-term damage of separation and divorce, which is often exacerbated by long drawn out court proceedings.

If you share children with your partner, you will face the challenges of transitioning from a single family home to two family households. Collaborative Family Law Child Specialists can help you with this, as well as with creating a co-parenting plan that works for everyone, most of all your children.

The Child Specialist meets with your children, giving them a safe place to talk, independent of either parent. They help you understand what’s helping and what’s hurting. They also keep your Collaborative Team focused on the best interests of the children.

Do you like the sound of Collaborative Family Law? Then where to from here?

If after you and/or your partner read this you would like to talk about the Collaborative Process together or separately contact Don Gayler and/or Lesley Powell of the Fraser Coast Family Law Centre, a joint initiative of Gayler Legal and Milburns Law. Don Gayler of Gayler Legal and Lesley Powell of Milburns Law are two collaboratively trained professionals who have chosen to work together in harmony under the shared philosophy of dignity and respect in Family Law.

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