The collaborative, or ‘four-way’ process is a form of alternative dispute resolution particular to family law. It requires both parties to instruct a lawyer who has been trained in the collaborative approach, and parties agree not to use those lawyers if the collaborative process breaks down and court proceedings begin. This provides an incentive to the parties to commit to the collaborative process.
There is no formal timetable, and the parties can be flexible in agreeing the procedural steps. The parties meet regularly for ‘four-way’ meetings with their lawyers, and seek to reach an agreement through these negotiations. A court order can then be sought in the terms of any agreement reached between the parties.
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