Insights and Inspiration
22 November 2019
Everyone seems to be collaborating in different spaces today. At Pearson Emerson Meyer we have been using a collaborative model to resolve family law disputes for a number of years. The process allows you the opportunity to move on to the next stage of your life ensuring your integrity and dignity remain intact. The process allows you to avoid the uncertainty of court proceedings and associated lengthy delays. Your family's specific interests and needs remain the focus of discussions.
When you sign up to collaboration you agree not to go to court. Rather, you and your spouse/partner each engage a trained family collaborative lawyer who work together to help the two of you identify what is important to you and your family. You will be provided with legal and professional advice and support in the privacy of a series of meetings. Everyone in the room has the same goal - to work together to negotiate a resolution that meets the particular needs of your family. The outcomes are usually quicker and less expensive than court. The success of collaborative practice comes from reaching a resolution through respectful communication and avoiding positional practices which polarise parties rather than focus on mutual goals. . Through the openness of meetings you and your partner/spouse can identify the issues that matter to you, discuss options, receive advice and reach agreements with the support of a team. In the unlikely event that the collaboration is not successful, neither lawyer nor any professionals brought into the process can continue to represent you.
Each of you will be assisted by the coach, a trained professional who ensures there is emotional support available to navigate your way towards a settlement. Depending on your matter, other professional can also be called in to assist such as an accountant, financial planner, psychologist or social worker. .
Once an agreement is reached, the court will formalise the agreement without you having to go to court - we just send the documents along to the court.
The collaborative process provides the opportunity to negotiate a mutually acceptable settlement without having to go to court. You will set the timetable and pace and be encouraged to take part in open communication and information sharing - setting the tools for co-parenting in the future, if you have children. The focus on outcomes keeps you and your family squarely at the centre of the issues and reduces the stress of a breakup. Collaboration will shield you, your spouse/partner and the children from the bitterness of court and let you avoid the financial and emotional costs of going to court.
Collaboration is not for you if you want your "day in court", if you aren't going to be open and honest or you are seeking revenge. However, collaboration is right for you if you want to maintain respect and dignity, you will listen objectively to what your spouse/partner has to say, you believe your needs and those of your spouse/partner deserve equal consideration.
While some see the break up as the end of a relationship, where there are children, this is not true. It is only the beginning of a different family structure. Surrounding yourself with professionals who will work together as a team and who have your family's interests at the core will help you move to this next phase as intact as possible.
SUSAN PEARSON AND CYNTHIA BLUETT
Level 15, 175 Liverpool Street
Sydney NSW 2000 Australia
PO Box 21117
World Square NSW 2002 Australia
175 Liverpool Street Parking Station, Entrance via 26 Nithsdale Street
Phone 1800 7275 464 - Closes at Midnight
Goulburn Street Parking Station, Cnr Goulburn & Elizabeth Streets
Phone 1800 727 5464 - Closes at Midnight
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