In a first for the region, Moree’s two leading law firms have teamed up to offer a new type of resolution for divorces and family breakdowns.
Nicole Youngberry of Rhodes Kildea and Dominic Wilcox of Webb and Boland, are now offering ‘collaborative practice’ family law, as an option for property division and parenting arrangements.
Collaborative practice has a growing number of followers both in Australia and overseas.
Rather than pitting two people against each other, it allows the parties to work creatively and collaboratively to come up with a mutually beneficial arrangement that is still legally binding, but without the involvement of the courts.
If necessary, financial advisors and mental health workers are involved to ensure that everyone has the resources they need.
“Someone could come and see either one of us and we would talk through the process and determine whether it’s something they want to be involved in,” Ms Youngberry said.
“We would have a chat to the ex-partner, or through their solicitor, and from there work out the best way for this particular family to resolve their issues.
“It’s client driven and tailored to individual needs of families.”
According to Mr Wilcox, the result is a ‘calmer, kinder, and more respectful separation, where both parties feel empowered to move on with their lives in the best way possible.
“It avoids the nastiness and hostility of the court process,” he said.
Ms Youngberry agrees.
“I have seen so many people who feel scarred and powerless by the money, time and emotional energy spent on going to court,” she said.
“Anything that can avoid that is a positive development, and it’s so exciting that we can now offer this in Moree.”
Both Mr Wilcox and Ms Youngberry have seen a significant increase in family law matters in Moree over the past few years.
With the closest family court in Newcastle, the burden of going to court can be a significant strain both financially and time-wise for many families.
“That’s really onerous on families to have to travel for court,” Mr Wilcox said.
“This is just a sensible approach to family matters.”
Although collaborative practice is not suitable for everyone, both Mr Wilcox and Ms Youngberry are encouraging people who may be interested to make an obligation-free appointment with either Webb and Boland or Rhodes Kildea, to explore all their options for a separation with as little pain as possible.
Call Rhodes Kildea on 6752 3344 or Webb and Boland on 6752 2244 to make an appointment.