From Judgement to Curiosity

From Judgement to Curiosity

Bev Clark from Belperio Clark attended the International Academy of Collaborative Practice Conference held in Queensland in April 2015.

Bev attended a fascinating two-day workshop in which the focus was on helping to shift separating and divorcing family law clients from a position of judgement to one of curiosity.

Family law clients enter the collaborative process with feelings of hurt, anger and defensiveness. They may often have a very narrow view of what may be possible. Judgements and assumptions abound. As collaborative professionals, our job is to help them move through their hurt, anger and defensiveness and open themselves up to the possibilities for the future.

Bev prefers to work in a collaborative team model which includes a Family Relationship Specialist and a Financial Expert. Each member of the professional team brings tremendous knowledge and experience to the collaborative case. We need to have sound judgement and strong analytical skills. We work hard to deliver a client centred process that focuses on the client’s abilities to make their own decisions. Lawyers commonly think we know what is best for our clients but in a collaborative model, we truly want to understand the client’s separate and common interests.

Enquires with respect to their interests include:

  • What do the parties need?
  • What are the parties concerned or worried about?
  • What do the parties want?
  • What do the parties hope for?

The best solutions to any difficulty the parties face will be those that meet their needs, address their concerns and give them each the best chance to get what they hope for. Collaborative professionals believe that family law clients are entitled to go beyond their legal rights and have the capacity and guidance to look for solutions that address their own priorities, values and judgments.

We want our clients to feel heard and understood.

We use interest-based negotiation which we believe encourages creative problem solving to achieve more than can be achieved through positional bargaining.

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