Collaborative Family Law

If you and your former partner are amicable, you are likely looking for a way to settle financial and childcare issues without going to court. Collaborative family law makes this possible.

The goals of mediation and collaborative family law are to reduce conflict and avoid court; except in collaborative family law, you, your former partner and your lawyers negotiate the terms of the settlement.

Contact Rafton Family Lawyers today to find out how you can arrange your settlement through a collaborative legal process.

What is collaborative family law?

Collaborative Family Law is a relatively new approach in Australia. It has become popular as it fills the need to resolve financial and children’s issues without the need for court.

The goal is always to have clear and open communication so that arrangements meet the needs of everyone involved. If both parties commit to considerate and constructively communication, you will save time, money and energy as a result.

Is collaborative family law right for me?

Although collaborative family law is a more practical approach than court, it is not achievable in every situation. Usually, if there is personality disorders or any type of abuse present in the relationship, collaborative family law does not resolve the needs of those involved.

It is also important to understand that collaborative family law meetings do not prove that you and your former partner have attempted to resolve your relationship issues.

Your lawyer will not be able to issue you a Section 601 Certificate that you will need if you choose to proceed with court actions. Attaining this certificate will require you and your former partner to attend formal mediation.

During a consultation with one of our family lawyers, we will help determine if collaborative family law is the right approach for you.

How does collaborative family law work?

Once you and your former partner have agreed to the collaborative process, you will both need your own lawyers to proceed.

The first step is for you, your former partner and both lawyers to sign an agreement outlining how the process will work. This agreement will state that if either party make court proceedings, the collaborative process ends and your lawyer will no longer represent you in the matter. So, if anyone breaks the agreement, they effectively sabotage their relationship with their lawyer.

Negotiations take place in face to face meetings. If there is a need for advice that goes beyond what either lawyer can provide, you can call in experts in accounting, finance, children’s psychology or any relevant field to advise.

Rafton Family Lawyers is a member of the Western Sydney Collaborative Family Lawyers network, which can help you access any expert you need during the negotiations.

The foundation of collaborative law is that both parties have needs and wishes that need to be respectfully considered for the process to work. With this approach, negotiations can usually be settled within 5 to 7 meetings.

What are the benefits?

Apart from avoiding lengthy and expensive court proceedings, collaboration family law also allows you to:

  • have control over the process and cost of your settlement,
  • set a time frame to have the matter resolved,
  • avoid incorrect speculations that waste time, as legal advice is available during negotiations
  • communicate effectively as everyone has a common goal.

Minimising the stress of settlement also helps you and your former partner have a more amicable co-parenting relationship and helps protect existing joint business interests.

What is the first step?

The first step is to find out if collaborative family law is the right choice for you.

We can determine this for you at your first consultation. If it is the best way forward, we will walk you through the process from start to finish.

Feel free to call one of our offices in Sydney to ask any questions before making an appointment with one of our family lawyers.

Read our plain English handbooks

These fact sheets are designed to provide an overview of the relevant issues and systems so that you have a better understanding of the process.

Rafton Conveyancing - Your Experts in Property

Whether you are buying or selling your first home, an investment property or a block of land, having an experienced legal team on hand to guide you through the process and ensure your transaction runs smoothly is critical. That’s where Rafton Conveyancying can help.

Rafton Arbitration & Mediation Brochure

Ensure that your clients are given the best possible opportunity to exit the Court process with a professional and efficient resolution to their family law dispute.