What is “collaborative family practice”?
Collaborative family practice (CFP) is a process in which parties negotiate prior to filing for divorce.
Parties will sign an agreement before the process, confirming that they will:
1. Negotiate in good faith.
2. Disclose fully all relevant documents and information.
3. Will not go to Court or threaten to go to Court, while CFP is ongoing.
4. The CFP lawyers will not be involved if the CFP process does not result in a settlement.
Individual meetings: After the agreement is signed, each party will meet their respective CFP lawyer separately to prepare for the joint meetings. Other family specialists can be appointed if necessary.
Joint meetings: Parties hold joint meetings with their CFP lawyers and any other family specialists.
At the end of the CFP process, where parties reach an agreement, the agreement will be recorded as a consent order.
Different from mediation
Mediation involves a neutral third party (the mediator) who facilitates discussions between parties. On the other hand, the CFP process involves lawyers who assist their clients to jointly resolve their dispute without a mediator.
Advantages over litigation in Court
The CFP process:
1. Is less confrontational and more amicable.
2. Empowers parties since they are in control of the outcome.
3. Is confidential.
4. Is more cost-effective and less stressful.
Your CFP lawyer will:
1. Act in a supportive and facilitative role.
2. Encourage you and your spouse to communicate directly with each other.
3. Try and reach consensus on legal issues with the other CFP lawyer.
4. Ensure that your interests and concerns are addressed.
5. Draft the required documents.
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