Collaborative Practice 

Collaborative Divorce, Law or Practice is a way of resolving issues arising from your separation without involving a Court, arriving at the best solution not the simplest or most common, where you are in control, with skilled assistance from lawyers, financial professionals and coaches. Join the growing number of separating couples who have been won over by the respect and control they have been able to achieve in determining how they conclude their separation.

Divorce with dignity by signing the Collaboration Contract up front in which you, your partner and each of your respective lawyers agree in advance on the way everyone will behave and conduct themselves as you sort through the financial and/or parenting aspects of your separation. All of the presenting issues are negotiated in a structured way in a series of round table meetings. No positional letters from lawyers, long court documents recording the mistakes of a failed relationship or unfortunate things said in the heat of the moment. You and your trained professionals will work through a clear agenda about what needs to be resolved and the process that has helped many couples all around the world reach agreements they can live with for the rest of their lives. 

Coaching for success gives you the best chance of making sure you don’t regret the way you go about this last step in your relationship. Each collaborative matter has at its core a Coach selected by you and your former partner (with the advice of your respective lawyers). This person, usually a highly trained mediator or communicator, helps take all the mystery and anxiety out of the collaboration process.  They will meet with you individually before each round table conference to go over what will happen, how you feel at that stage of the process and how you best prepare for the next step. The coaches we work with are highly skilled communicators who are focused on helping you find your voice and making sure you maintain the right tone for achieving the best outcome that your circumstances permit.

Contract out of Court so you can be certain everyone involved is committed to using the collaboration process to achieve a resolution. No threats to “see you in Court” and looming risks of hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal costs and years of delay. While each party remains a party to the Collaboration neither can approach a Court for relief. If you and your spouse wish to exit the collaboration then you are free to do so and instead go to Court but your lawyers cannot represent you in that litigation and each of you must in effect start again with new lawyers. While it is not an absolute bar to Court it remains a powerful motivator to both parties to stay at the table and continue to collaborate.

Fixed price divorce means that you know before each round table conference what your legal fees will be and gives you the control to make sure that the costs of the solution remain proportionate with the issues being resolved. Our clients in most matters can agree with us on a fixed price per collaborative round table conference. Most collaborations take between four and six round table conferences. If the issues are more complex then there will be more meetings but whether it is three, six or eight you will know based on how many meetings you agree to conduct as your matter progresses what the extra costs are. Your partner will enter into their own costs arrangements with their lawyer but in our experience the costs for both parties in most collaborations are similar.

The contractual commitment of you, your lawyers and the coach to providing you with solutions not problems means that the discussions, negotiations and general dialogue remains positive and focused on future outcomes. Interests based negotiation is written into the fabric of a collaboration forcing lawyers, you and your partner to measure every outcome against what is in the long-term interests of you and your partner. This makes sure that while there will be no solution that is perfect for each of you, there will be an outcome that is measured, balanced and has respect for each of your respective needs.

Broun Abrahams Burreket has one of the largest number of Collaborative trained lawyers in the country including senior lawyers who were amongst the first trained in New South Wales and founding members of the various peak representative bodies in this state and in the Sydney CBD. All of our collaborative lawyers are members of the Central Sydney Collaborative Forum, the NSW Collaborative Professionals and International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.

Make an appointment with one of our lawyers to work out whether collaboration is the best way forward for you.