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Collaborative family law allows practitioners to manage the divorce process in a more dignified manner. Each separating spouse receives legal advice and practical guidance and, together with specially trained collaborative lawyers, can discuss and resolve issues through face-to-face meetings.
The process can also involve other professionals (eg counsellors and child/financial specialists) who help clients reach an agreement. Those who practise collaborative law recognise that it is far better for the parties to avoid the uncertainties of the court-based system and to reach their own solution rather than to have one imposed upon them, as will often happen in an adversarial process.
A key part of the process is that collaborative lawyers sign an agreement with their client which disqualifies them from representing them in court if the collaborative process breaks down. The disqualification agreement means that all the parties, including the lawyers, are attempting to achieve settlement without threatening, or being subject to the threat of, court proceedings when matters become difficult.
The Collaborative Law Companion provides clients, lawyers and other collaborative professionals with a thorough understanding of the dynamics of the process and how they can be effective within it. This new handbook offers a source of great encouragement, comfort and reference that can be returned to time and time again as the process progresses.