Divorce Routes: Which do I Choose?


Collaborative Family Practice

  • This process commences either during the marriage (if you are looking at executing a Deed of Separation or Marital Agreement) or prior to divorce proceedings.
  • This is for parties looking at avoiding costly litigation and working to achieve a win-win solution in the best of interest of all parties. Interest-based negotiations prevail over positions.
  • Lawyers must be accrediated in Collaborative Family Practice.
  • High success rate.

Negotiations 4-Way

  • This is similar to collaborative family practice and each party is represented by a lawyer. Lawyers need not be trained in CFP.
  • In the event negotiation fails, you can continue to use the same lawyer whereas in CFP you cannot.
  • Meeting-based process to try to work out a settlement acceptable to both but leans towards being positional with ability to walk away.


    Private Mediate (3 parties)

    • Parties appoint a neutral third party to assist in the disputes.
    • Session conducted at Mediator’s office with parties but no lawyers.
    • It’s a process that requires parties to voluntarily participate and be committed to resolutions.

    SMC Mediation (6 parties)

    • During the court divorce proceedings, parties engage SMC to choose two mediators who are must be accrediated in Family Law mediation.
    • Parties pay a set fee each and comes to mediation with their lawyers.

    Court Mediation

    • This takes place in court and conducted by a judge sitting as a mediator.
    • Usually takes 2 -3 sessions (of 2-3 hrs per session to arrive at a global settlement).
    • No fees payable to the Mediators.
    • Parties need to set aside time and trust the process.

Court Litigation

  • This is the last option when the other 3 routes fail.
  • The preferred options when one party believes that it is impossible to collaborate, negotiate or mediate with other party.
  • Be prepared to allocate time and financial resources as it is a longer process.
  • Much paperwork involved – Affidavits, Summons, Discovery, Interrogatories, Injunctions, etc.
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