About Collaborative Practice
Collaborative Law has been practised overseas since the mid 1990s. It was seen by legal advisors as a way for their clients to take control of their separation and provide them with a way to resolve issues with dignity and respect. A group of family law practitioners in 2009 felt that New Zealanders could greatly benefit from being offered this process and have worked to see it implemented here. Interest has spread amongst the legal community and further afield to other professionals who can provide advice which benefits separating parties.
The members of Collaborative Advocacy New Zealand are committed to helping people resolve disputes using a non adversarial and client-centred process.
Parties to the process commit to working together with their professional advisors. Collaborative practice is suitable for the resolution of both parenting and financial issues arising from separation and divorce, as the process focuses on the needs of you and any children of your relationship.
If necessary, other experts (i.e. accountants, child experts, financial advisers, counsellors, mediators and psychologists) can join the collaborative team to assist you to resolve disputes about your children, property and finances in an informed way. Your legal advisors and other experts are trained in the Collaborative Process.
During a series of face to face meetings, parties are encouraged to find common ground with a view to resolving outstanding issues. Negotiations take place at these meetings where options can be considered immediately. Disclosure of necessary documents and information is exchanged. No more lawyers’ letters and waiting weeks for a response.
How Collaborative Practice can help you
The collaborative process occurs through a series of focused meetings. Information is exchanged and options for resolutions are explored. People often say that if they are just given a chance to sit around a table that matters could be dealt with quickly, rather than drawn out through the exchange of lawyers’ letters. Collaborative practice enables you to sit around a table with your own legal advisor and any other agreed professionals and to directly negotiate, find mutually acceptable solutions and plan your own future in a dignified, respectful way.
Why use the Collaborative process to assist you? Collaborative Practice has the following benefits:
- Control - you have control of the process, its timing and outcomes.
- Simple – face to face meetings and the ability to address issues directly.
- Personal – it deals with your issues and resolutions are based around your unique interests, not those imposed on you by others.
- Not Court Based – an important part of the Collaborative Process is the threat of Court is removed from negotiations.
- Informed problem solving – full disclousure of facts and infomation occurs, and your professionals guide you to use that information within a problem solving approach.
- Respectful – you and your partner may no longer get along but the Collaborative Process supports you in creating a respectful atmosphere.
- Positive outcomes – respectful negotiations and dealing with your specific, future interests means more positive, longstanding and achievable outcomes for you and your family.
When you are trying to resolve issues arising from a separation or any other family related issues, such as a pre-nuptial agreement, estate planning or family business issues, you should consider the collaboratively process and contact a collaboratively trained professional to discuss collaborative practice and your other options.
Would you like to learn more about how Collaborative Practice works to help you and your family?
You can find contact details here for lawyers who are willing to provide you with a no obligation, free initial consultation about Collaborative Practice.
The consultation enables you to spend 20 minutes with a lawyer who is trained in Collaborative Practice to learn more about the process and whether it will suit your situation.
Alternatively, you can find other Collaborative Professionals here.