Different Models of Collaborative Family Law

1.Lawyer only Model
Each party has a trained collaborative family lawyer with them in the room throughout the negotiations.

To begin, each lawyer sees their own client individually and thereafter all work is done with two lawyers and two clients working together through a series of two hour meetings.
Once an agreement is reached the lawyers can complete the necessary documents to make the agreement legally binding. In this process the two lawyers facilitate the client’s negotiations in relation to all matters.

2.Referral Model

This model recognises that sometimes it is helpful to involve experts in addition to the lawyers.

In this approach each party has a collaboratively trained lawyer who attends all meetings with them. Depending on the individual case, this model also includes the involvement of other collaboratively trained professionals on an “as needs” basis to help and support the negotiation process.

These experts are jointly appointed and do not therefore represent one party over another and they remain neutral throughout. Other experts might include collaboratively trained Financial Planners, Family Expert’s and Child Expert’s.

These collaborative professionals may then attend the group meetings to discuss options and assist the parties to reach a resolution.

Once an agreement is reached the collaborative lawyers will draw up the paperwork to make it legal.

3.Team Model
The team model can best be described as an integrated and holistic approach to the separation process.

It recognises that clients going through separation or divorce have, in addition to legal needs, emotional, parenting, financial and other needs.

In the team model, the appropriate experts give the relevant advice. Lawyers are called upon when legal advice is required; the family expert can help with the emotions involved in separation and also the children and actively assist the parties to develop a parenting plan. The financial professional can do the modelling to provide a sense of security around what the financial future will look like to help the lawyers to guide their clients through the process of evaluating settlement options.

Then the whole team will meet again to discuss option development and evaluation.

Once an agreement is reached the Collaborative Family Lawyers are able to draw up the relevant documentation for you.

Our expert team will be able to advise you which collaborative model is most likely to achieve the desired outcome, for your family.