Collaborative law is a without prejudice, negotiation-based approach to resolving issues. The goal of this process is to help clients reach an interest-based resolution, while minimizing their stress. Family lawyers who do this work have taken specialized training and are usually also mediators. The parties and lawyers sign a Participation Agreement, promising to negotiate in good faith. The lawyers will withdraw if the process fails and the parties go to court. Negotiation takes place at four-way meetings between the lawyers and clients. Other professionals with expertise in the dynamics of family breakdown, such as counsellors, financial advisors and child specialists, may be brought in to help. Collaborative law is a good option where privacy and speed are important to clients, and where you can foresee that input from other professionals may be needed.
The outcome of a successful collaborative law process is an agreement, which will be prepared by the lawyers. You may not have to start a court proceeding, unless you want the terms of your agreement in an order, or you wish to divorce.
Carla has trained as a collaborative lawyer, and enjoys working with clients and other collaborative professionals to reach mutually satisfactory results.