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Mediation in Sydney

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Alternative Dispute Resolution | Property Settlement

Why you should consider a collaboratively trained family lawyer

by Rosemary Norgate

Collaborative law is now well established in Sydney.  Many clients express an interest in engaging in collaborative law to reach a resolution of parenting and financial issues arising from the breakdown of their relationship.

For many reasons, your matter may not proceed as a collaborative matter.  Perhaps your spouse’s solicitor may not have been collaboratively trained or the circumstances of your relationship means that you may not be well suited for collaborative process.

However, even if the collaborative model is not available to you, here are just some reasons why you should consider engaging a solicitor who has been collaboratively trained:

  1. Being collaboratively trained means that your lawyer is both open to, and trained in, ways of resolving and understanding drivers of conflict that go beyond the traditional training of lawyers.
  2. Collaborative lawyers are trained to:
    • Strive to enhance good communication between you and your partner as well as any other practitioners engaged throughout your matter, including your partner’s lawyer;
    • Support you to find ways of thinking and dealing with your partner which focus on the entire family’s needs both now and into the future; and
    • Work in conjunction with other collaborative practitioners such as psychologists, accountants, financial planners and mediators.
  3. Collaborative lawyers recognise the importance of introducing other like-minded practitioners at an early stage to assist in the resolution of issues, even when Court proceedings have been commenced.
    • For parenting matters, such practitioners may include psychologists, counsellors, and mediators. Early involvement of these practitioners can have a significant impact on the management of conflict as it allows and encourages you, as parents, to communicate with each other directly, rather than relying on lawyers. It also introduces someone to your family who may be able to assist you as and when parenting issues arise, and long after your lawyer has closed your file.
    • For financial matters, such practitioners may include the early involvement of accountants, financial planners and mediators to help both of you understand your current financial position and to help you plan for the future and understand each other’s future financial positions.

Rosemary Norgate, Suzanne Pigdon and Alice Schober are all collaboratively trained.