Collaborative Practice

Happy Family

Walls Bridges Lawyers Mornington

Our firm, based in Mornington and serving the Mornington Peninsula and Melbourne, specialises in the area of collaborative practice. Continue reading to learn more.

What Is Collaborative Practice?

Collaborative practice means that you and your partner each engage a “collaborative” family lawyer to work co-operatively and constructively together to help get a satisfactory and timely outcome for both of you. This approach differs from the traditional legal system which is adversarial. Adversarial literally means “involving or characterised by conflict or opposition”, with each party engaging a lawyer to advocate and argue your individual position. The adversarial approach can often fuel conflict and lead to time consuming and expensive Court proceedings where each of you argue against each other. By using the collaborative method, the lawyers engaged by you and your partner work together to help you problem solve and brainstorm possible solutions to reach an agreement that meets both of your needs.

Is Collaborative Practice Suitable for Me?

For collaborative practice to be successful in getting you an outcome, the following need to apply:

  • Both you and your ex-partner must commit to the process –
    i.e. both of you must want to try your best to get an outcome that works for both of you (a win-win solution);
  • You need to both be ready and committed to making decisions to achieve a final result;
  • You both need to be open to solutions that work for both of you.

Although we specialise in collaborative practice, we appreciate that it is not suitable for all situations. Sometimes, for example, Court action is a necessary step. When we start working together, we begin by talking with you to develop an understanding of your situation and discuss the options available. We then develop a strategy to deliver the best outcomes for you and your family in the simplest and most cost effective way possible. Call us today on (03) 5977 0680 to learn more or arrange for an appointment with our friendly lawyers.

What are the Benefits?

The benefits of a successful collaborative practice are that both you and your partner achieve an outcome that meets both of your needs, in a timely manner. This often results in a more positive feeling and can help preserve ongoing relationships, particularly where children are involved.

What are the Disadvantages?

Collaboration is similar to mediation in that its success depends on you and your partner reaching agreement. The professional team provides the best opportunity for agreement to be reached, however achieving a final result ultimately depends on you and your partner. If the process is unsuccessful, you still have the option to go to Court to resolve your matter. To ensure that your lawyer is fully engaged in the collaborative process, they will no longer represent you if the case does end up going to Court. This means you always know that your lawyer has your best interests at heart in supporting you to get an outcome through collaboration. There is also a “time limit” on the process, so if an outcome is not achieved within the stipulated time, the process is concluded.

What Can I Expect from the Process?

Collaboration is a process designed to get a satisfactory outcome for you and your partner. Collaboration is a negotiation process which means that both parties need to make some compromises so that a mutual agreement can be reached. Collaborative practice therefore involves being open, flexible, and prepared to make decisions. It is often stressful, confronting and emotional, however it is a supported process. All the professionals, and most importantly your lawyer, are there to support you to achieve a beneficial outcome.

Collaborative Practice on the Mornington Peninsula

As specialists in collaborative practice, our Mornington lawyers will work with other professionals relevant to your case, such as psychologists and financial advisers, to produce the best outcome for yourself and your family. To find out more about this innovative practice, call Walls Bridges Lawyers today on (03) 5977 0680 to make an appointment.

Walls Bridges can assist with collaboration in Frankston, Mt Eliza, Mornington, Mt Martha, Moorooduc, Sorrento, Portsea, Somerville, Tyabb, Langwarrin, Cranbourne, and other suburbs across the Mornington Peninsula, Bayside and the South East suburbs of Melbourne.