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Is There Such a Thing as a Conflict Free Separation?

Is There Such a Thing as a Conflict Free Separation?

Written by:
Alissa Bell

A separation doesn't have to be fraught with conflict, including when Lawyers are involved. If you have recently separated and need some assistance with resolving a dispute involving property and/or children you may want to consider doing so under the framework of Collaborative Advocacy.

The Collaborative approach focuses on resolving disputes with respect and dignity towards the other parties involved. It doesn't mean to say that everyone shares the same views, but rather that everyone is committed to working together towards a mutually acceptable resolution. In order to resolve a dispute in a Collaborative way, all interested parties must have a Lawyer who has been Collaboratively trained, they must agree to not filing Court proceedings (at least not during the process itself and not with the Lawyer who is engaged as the Collaborative Lawyer) and they will be asked to commit to working together towards finality.

It has been our experience that this process is often more time and cost effective than other dispute resolution methods. It also tends to be significantly less stressful, reducing long-term animosity between ex-spouses/partners.

As for how this process works at a practical level, all meetings occur by phone or face-to-face. The Lawyers involved will take turns 'chairing' the meeting, while the other takes minutes. At the end of a meeting, a 'jobs list' will be circulated and everyone will be issued 'jobs' to do (whether that to be to obtain agreed documents, or to instruct another professional etc) so that clear progress is being made towards resolving the matter. Ultimately, final resolution will be documented by the signing of a Relationship Property Agreement, Agreement as to Spousal Maintenance, Agreement as to Child Support Parenting Agreement and the like.

There are two Lawyers at McVeagh Fleming who are Collaboratively trained, those being Alissa Bell and Anna Carbon. If you would like to find out more information about this process, please call (09) 415 4477 or contact:

Alissa Bell at; or

Anna Carbon at

See our Expertise pages

Family Law

Family Matters

Dispute Resolution

Care of Children

Relationship Property

Separation and Divorce

© McVeagh Fleming 2021

This article is published for general information purposes only.  Legal content in this article is necessarily of a general nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice.  If you require specific legal advice in respect of any legal issue, you should always engage a lawyer to provide that advice.

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