Importance Of Preparation And Trust In The Collaborative Law Process.

Typically, people involved in a family breakup are very stressed and anxious.

They are in unknown territory in their personal lives and then must face dealing with the legal technicalities of a separation.

My task is to enable them to trust that they are in good hands, that I am listening to them and that they are getting good legal advice. Before we go into a Collaborative Law meeting with their former partner and his or her counsel, I work hard to prepare them for what is ahead. They can only bring their best to a discussion about their future, if they feel knowledgeable and supported. During the meeting, they can turn to me and ask, “What did we talk about here?

Can you remind me?” They’re not alone in having to remember all the details, because they have discussed things with me and we know we are fully prepared for what is ahead.

On the other hand, when a case goes to court, there are nearly 800 family law rules along with the law itself that the lawyer must be concerned with. Often there just isn’t time to explain everything to the client. Papers need to be signed, court dates are set, and often the clients are only marginally involved after the initial meetings because

their case is now an adversarial dispute between lawyers. At the end, a judge will make a decision that the client now has to live by. Because a collaborative solution is not litigation, the client is better informed and an active participant in the proceedings.

Collaborative law is very much a trust-building process. When you sign an agreement, it’s an exchange of promises, and you can only realistically sign the document if you trust that the other person is going to do what they promised to do. Because of the emphasis on listening and full disclosure, it is possible to build enough trust between two people so that they can be functional in the future and make good decisions for their family. The collaborative process is not an easy one, but the agreements that come out of a collaborative process are long-lasting and



If you, or someone you care about, is dealing with a family law issues in the Sudbury Region, contact Paquette Renzini Law Office for a consultation.

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This article is taken from a Sep 3,2010 interview with Family Lawyer with Paquette Renzini Law Firm, a sudbury Ontario Family Law Firm. Note that laws vary from province to province. Please consult with a lawyer in your own area to be sure of the laws and specific issues in your own jurisdiction.