COLLABORATIVE FAMILY LAW
Separation is never easy. The stress generated by the process can push a couple even further apart than they are already. It can leave them feeling damaged by the process itself and unable to communicate. Where children are involved, this can cause problems for the whole family for many years to come.
Experience and research show that the way separation is dealt with can make a huge difference to how quickly and fairly issues are resolved and how well a couple copes after the separation on a personal level and in managing their ongoing family relationships.
Collaborative law is a new approach which offers a better way of dealing with separation. It aims to avoid drawn-out legal disputes and give the couple a way of working out a solution together which suits their circumstances and those of their family. It allows a separation to be resolved more quickly and, above all, less painfully. It aims to allow you to talk.
Collaborative lawyers believe that even the most difficult disputes can be resolved if those involved are prepared to recognise and understand the issues which affect the other party. Above all, they recognise that a good settlement is one in which both parties feel that, although they may have had to compromise, they have been treated fairly.
Collaborative law is suitable for couples involved in separation whether married, cohabiting or civil partnership.
Only you can decide whether or not this is the right process for you. Start by asking yourself the following questions
- Do I want a civilised, respectful resolution of the issues?
- Do I want to keep open the possibility of civil contact with my spouse/partner into the future?
- Do I want to have the best co-parenting relationship possible with my spouse/partner?
- Do I want to protect my children from the fallout associated with traditional court cases?
- Do we have friends and/or extended family in common that each of us wants to keep in contact with?
- Do I want to take personal responsibility for handling this conflict with integrity?
- Do I want to retain control over the decision making as opposed to leaving it to a judge?
- Do I want to reach an outcome more specific and suitable to my personal family situation?
- Do I understand that conflict resolution with integrity involves not only achieving my goals but also finding a way to achieve the reasonable goals of my spouse/partner and our children?
- Will I commit all my resources and energy towards creative problem solving rather than towards seeking recrimination and/or revenge?
- Am I ready to fix the problem rather than to fix blame?
If you answered “Yes” to these, read on!
Have a look at this questionnaire. If you wish, you can send it in to us or bring it to your first meeting. For more information, go to www.consensus-scotland.com. Richard Ward was one of the first lawyers in Aberdeen to train in collaborative practice and will be happy to have a without prejudice telephone conversation with you to give you further information.