Divorce is often a daunting word and the worry about prolonged and difficult proceedings with the concerns about ending up in Court can make it even more intimidating.
Fortunately the Family Law experts at Coles are here to guide you through the process and can also provide some alternative approaches that may make the process smoother.
Law reform over recent years has encouraged the use of Collaborative Family Law and Mediation, changing the landscape of divorce proceedings to be more cooperative.
Collaborative Family Law
This approach allows both parties to reach a settlement with the agreement from the outset that they will not go to court. It is an increasingly popular process, based on a dignified and co-operative perspective on divorce. Both parties have an independent, collaboratively trained lawyer with a full understanding of the issues at hand. The parties and their lawyers meet to discuss the assets involved in a transparent and friendly manner, and through a series of meetings agree on a settlement that suits all involved.
The process is conducted at a speed that feels comfortable for you. It allows you to express your concerns in a measured and understanding environment, and to discuss them without feeling rushed or attacked. Collaborative Family Law has greater flexibility than the court to make personalised settlements that reflect your individual needs.
If you are concerned about the impact court proceedings may have on your children or your finances, and you are open to discussion with the other party, then the support of a Collaborative Family lawyer may be right for you.
Mediation is a process involving a neutral mediator, who facilitates discussion between both parties to help you come to a mutual solution. The mediator will not take sides or make judgments, but will simply develop calm and effective communication between the parties of several meetings. This can be a cost effective method of reaching a financial settlement and public funding is available for mediation if you are financially eligible.
Our Family lawyers have a wealth of experience dealing with mediators, and can make a referral for mediation for you. They are then on hand to give you advice on possible settlement options to make the process easier.
Parties can generally no longer simply apply to the Court straight away without exploring a settlement between themselves. Before an application to Court can be made you must normally first attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) to see whether your dispute can be solved by mediation. Our lawyers will guide you through this process.
If you cannot reach a settlement and decide that you need to proceed to court, you can rely on our Family lawyers, who have extensive experience in helping clients through litigation. Their strong skills in preparing your case effectively for court will make the process as seamless as possible.
Our experienced Family Law team offer bespoke, considered advice to guide you confidently through your chosen approach to the divorce process. We offer a free half hour appointment at your preferred location so that you can discuss your situation and your options with us in more detail.
To find out more, call 0800 160 10 10 today.