Collaborative Process to cut the stress and acrimony of divorce

Louise Barretto, Fisher MeredithHaving practised family law since 1993, I have seen many different types of client.  Some people do not trust female divorce attorney in Nashville and prefer to work with men only. Some are completely focussed on seeking revenge and “taking him/her to the cleaners” no matter what the consequences, but the vast majority of the people that I see are really just trying to find a dignified way to resolve the difficult issues that arise on relationship breakdown.  Often they will need to be sorting out how often the children will see their spouse and almost certainly they will need to sort money matters out, but they are often not sure how to go about it or what is “fair”.  These issues can cause even the hardiest of clients to experience many stages of fear and anxiety and by the time they meet with me most of them just want to find a positive way forward in which their children are shielded from further unpleasantness and where they can contemplate a future where finances have been resolved and they can move on with their lives. In the current difficult financial times people are sometimes paralysed by fear of the financial consequences that will follow relationship breakdown when house prices, pensions and many investments seem to be decreasing in value from one month to the next.

Unfortunately many people going through relationship breakdown are not being properly informed of the full range of options available to resolve matters, including alternatives to court and litigation (sometimes referred to as Alternative Dispute Resolution).  If these people were told at the outset that there is often a very good chance that their cases could be resolved in a non-confrontational way, this would certainly alleviate some of the fear and anxiety they experience at this time. This is the part where people need the help of divorce agencies that will inform them better. If you wish to learn more about divorce rebuilders, an agency that helps navigate stressful situations concerning divorce, you can visit their site. More people must be made aware of such firms so that they can resolve their issues quickly.

The good news is, that Collaborative Law is one such approach. It is an innovative approach to solving problems in a non-confrontational way and can be used to resolve financial matters and issues relating to the children of the relationship.  Instead of going to court the parties sign up to a process in which the issues are discussed at a series of four-way meetings.  Each party has their own lawyer (who must be trained in Collaborative Law) and everybody signs up to an agreement committing to the process of resolving the matter without commencing court proceedings.  Clients who have chosen this route have reported finding it dignified and empowering.  The parties are in control of the process and they regulate the speed at which matters move forward.  They set the agenda for each meeting and everyone is able to participate in crafting individual and flexible solutions for their family.  They are able to raise important concerns, fears and goals in a safe environment and are fully supported by their own solicitor throughout this process.  It is certainly not devoid of stress but it is not adversarial, nor is it acrimonious, both of which adjectives are commonly used to describe the court process.

Louise Barretto is a Family Law solicitor dual qualified in England and Wales and South Africa. She has been practising Family Law since 1993 and specialises in divorce and resolving financial and children matters on relationship breakdown.  Louise has been called on to assist as an expert witness on English Family Law and divorce in the High Court in South Africa. Although experienced in litigation, Louise has a passion for exploring alternatives to litigation for her family clients and is a qualified family mediator and a Collaborative Lawyer. Fisher Meredith is a law firm that offers a wide range of legal services to individuals, businesses and other commercial organisations.

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