The concept of Collaborative Practice is a new idea for most people in Ireland, though it is well established in other countries. It is a proven process that works for separating couples and the collaborative process can be far less stressful. The parties involved are each represented by lawyers, but the method of resolving matters is less aggressive and confrontational than the traditional legal approach. The focus is put on finding solutions, rather than gaining advantage. It involves treating each other respectfully and trying to satisfy the interests of all family members, rather than trying to gain individual advantage. It is child centred.

The process can reduce unnecessary and destructive conflict, so that outcomes for family members, and children, are more positive. You have much more control over the process, the pace, and the outcome, and THAT is very different from Court litigation.

How Does the Process Work?

When the initial contact is made with either the family consultant/psychotherapist or collaboratively trained lawyer, then that practitioner will set up a consultation with you to establish whether collaborative practice is suitable for your case. If your case is suitable for proceeding collaboratively, then the other spouse or partner to the dispute will be asked if they are also agreeable to proceeding collaboratively. If they are agreeable, they must choose their own collaborative practitioners.

The chosen practitioners will work together to put the rest of team in place. The team will consist of a minimum of two lawyers – one for each person – who have specialised training in Divorce or Separation skills and are collaboratively trained. At minimum the process will include one family consultant to help with the emotional relationship and parenting issues.

For more information please visit www.acp.ie or contact Elaine on 087-1046990 email: ehanlonpsychotherapy@gmail.com.

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