Is there any such thing as a friendly divorce?
Sinead Bradley, Solicitor is a member of both the
Collaborative Association of Ireland and also the
International Association of Collaborative Practitioners
What is Collaborative Law?
Collaborative Law is a system which aims to remove some of the conflict and bitterness from the dissolution of a relationship.
Under the Collaborative Law model separated couples and their solicitors negotiate agreements on all issues relating to their break-up over a series of "round table" meetings.
All parties agree at the outset that they will not institute court proceedings and in fact should the collaborative process fail the solicitors representing each client in the Collaborative Law process cannot subsequently act for their clients in Court. Both solicitors must have completed training in Collaborative Law and be members of the Association of Collaborative Law Practitioners.
How does Collaborative Law differ from the conventional litigation approach?
The Collaborative Law process differs from the conventional approach in that as litigation is specifically excluded, couples are forced to set aside their differences and to negotiate a resolution of all issues.
The collaborative process is client driven. In other words, it is designed to empower clients to reach settlement with all the support and advice of their solicitors who work together as a team.
The process also provides for the involvement or other specialists/experts if necessary, including accountants, financial advisers and counsellors who can assist the couples and their families to deal with the emotional effects of the breakdown of the family.
The experts involved will also be trained in the Collaborative Law process.
What are the advantages of Collaborative Law?
One of the obvious advantages to avoiding the courts is that it offers the possibility of reduced costs and more flexibility for clients.
While Collaborative Law is not cheap it can be resolved quite quickly thereby reducing costs between the parties.
In my opinion one of the main advantages to the collaborative law process is that the reduced confrontation between the parties helps to preserve the family relationship in the longer term.
In other words the parties themselves will be able to negotiate and discuss the upbringing of their children after the solicitors have completed their job.
They are able to co-parent after their separation/divorce which is going to be of obvious benefit to their children.
The Collaborative Law process has been so successful in one Canadian city since it was introduced in 2001 that it effectively removed family law disputes from the legal system.
To find out more about Collaborative Law you can Contact Us or access the associations website at www.collaborativepractice.com or www.icap.ie
Practitioners in Donegal include the following:
Browne & Co., Solicitors, Letterkenny
Ciaran Liddy, Solicitors, Letterkenny
Gallagher McCartney Solicitors, Donegal Town,
Roisin Doherty, Solicitors, Carndonagh,
Sinead Bradley, Solicitors, Letterkenny
Legal Aid Board, Letterkenny