At one time in the not so distant past, family law was practised at an oppositional stance. Two partners would consult their own personal lawyers privately, divorce would be acrimonious and custody proceedings were bitter. However, now lawyers have stated that family law is being practised much more collaboratively between two partners. This applies to every stage of a family beginning. Mortgage and co-habitation are looked at together, pre-nuptial agreements are drawn up by both partners and mediation is increasing before divorce proceedings are begun. Couples are actively seeking to start their life together on a more equal and open footing. Official documents are drawn up together with mutual consent.
Mortgage And Co-Habitation
Often, when two partners start to live together, they will move into a house that one of the partners already owns. This can be difficult if the couple were to split up, because the party who had no ownership over the house would want some recompense if they had to move out. Now, more couples are using a lawyer to draw up living arrangement contracts or to help them make the mortgage a joint contract.
By law, family courts are now more transparent than ever. This has led a number of couples to draw up a collaborative pre-nup before they marry which ensures that the details of any divorce proceedings will remain private, should the couple split up. Couples are also showing more enthusiasm for beginning their married life on equal terms. When drawing up the pre-nuptial agreement, lawyers have cited that they are less likely to be rejected by a family law court because both parties were witness to them and signed them with no objection. This collaborative approach is much more popular as the disparity between men's and women's finances has shrunk and partners who stay at home are recognised as contributing to the marriage in ways other than financial.
The rise of the pre-nuptial has made divorces much more straight but in some cases. However, where there is no pre-nup in place, a collaborative approach to divorce is now becoming a popular way to end a marriage. This has come about because we are now more aware of how a bitter divorce can emotionally impact on children involved, and parents want to reduce the amount of stress that the split causes to themselves and their offspring. Mediation before a divorce case goes to court can help to reduce hostility and work out the best outcome for all parties involved.
Collaborative family law is a much more open way of dealing with family life. It helps couples to respect each other, think of each other as equals and prevent any unfair dealings if the marriage was to come to an end.