There has been much media attention to Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow’s ‘conscious uncoupling’. More recently it has been reported that they took a joint holiday to Mexico with their children, Apple and Moses. This demonstrates that they have been able to continue to work together irrespective of what has happened in their own relationship and consider the needs of their children first. It seems to me this is something all separating parents should hope to be able to achieve.
How might you follow in their footsteps? One option is Collaborative Law. For those in the dark, Collaborative Law is one form of dispute resolution available in family law disputes. Collaborative Law is essentially a series of ‘four-way meetings’ where the parties instruct collaboratively trained lawyers with a view to allowing the parties to attempt to resolve their dispute without the need for costly and often stressful court proceedings.
Collaborative Law differs from other forms of dispute resolution in the fact that, prior to the commencement of the process, each party signs an agreement stating that they will not make an application to court (other than to ratify any agreement reached if appropriate).
So why choose Collaborative Law? Some of the advantages are:
• It promotes putting the needs of your children before your own.
• It encourages a dignified non-aggressive resolution of the issues enabling parents to maintain a good working parental relationship in the future.
• You set your own agenda and keep control of what is important for you and your family, rather than handing that over to a stranger (a Judge).
• You keep things away from prying eyes that Court proceedings might attract. Everything discussed is private to you.
Collaborative law is especially effective where there are children and encourages both partners to consider the impact on their children of the decisions they make. If required, other specialist family consultants or other trained professionals can be introduced in to the process to assist.