Third, there is Collaborative Family Law or C.F.L. This is a relatively new concept. It was created by a mediator. He found that on occasion the mediation process would break down at the independent legal advice stage. The parties attended the mediation. They reached an agreement in principle. An agreement was drafted. Both parties meet with their independent lawyers to review the agreement. A problem arises at this stage and the parties are back to square one.

What if both lawyers were involved from the beginning? What if both parties received advice on the spot? Would this make for a better process?

In C.F.L. the parties and lawyers work together instead of against each other. If a court application is necessary because settlement was not achieved then the parties have to get new lawyers. This deals with the perception that lawyers create problems to run up their bills. If lawyers only get paid to settle files then this potential conflict does not exist.

To be a C.F.L. file both lawyers must be members of the C.F.L. panel. Darrin is a member of the panel. If the other lawyer is not then we can still have a four way meeting.

For more information, please visit