Collaboration

Divorce without court

Sometimes, despite the best efforts of both parties, divorce is inevitable.
Unfortunately, divorce can be one of the most difficult life changes you will ever encounter.
And when children are involved, the often adversarial nature of a traditional divorce can make the situation much more emotional and complex.
There is a better way.

Collaborative Practice

Collaborative Practice is a highly successful method of creating workable solutions to all the issues of separation and divorce, without going to court.
It is a client-centred approach that often proves to be a quicker, cheaper and more amicable way of settling a divorce.
In collaboration, a psychologist or counsellor, a lawyer and a financial planner work together as a team to help you manage every aspect of your separation via negotiation.
At the end of the process, the divorce settlement is still a legal agreement, but it is you and your partner who have made the final decisions, not the court system.
I am a co-founder of the Melbourne Collaborative Alliance (MCA), an organisation that is committed to making the divorce process as swift, cost-effective, constructive and equitable as possible.
My colleagues and I work with our clients in all aspects of their transition, by seeking long term changes that will help the family move forward, not just legal settlement.

My role in the collaborative process

I am neutral. I do not take any one person's side but rather offer a balanced voice.
My speciality is communication. I have in-depth knowledge of the emotional and psychological aspects of separation and divorce for adults and children.
It is my role to help parents to put the needs of their children first.
I spend time with the clients to assist them to be ready for the meetings. I coach clients in effective communication. I make sure they keep to the collaborative behaviour code. I assist all members of the team to bring their 'best selves' to the negotiating table.
I believe passionately in the value of collaboration. I want couples to not only seek agreement about divorce issues, but also to meet their goals for the future healthy functioning of themselves and their family.
If we think about the adversarial nature and emotional cost of litigation, then working in collaboration has to be less damaging. We at MCA offer total family care.