Nicholes Family Lawyers and Resolve Conflict Family Lawyers have collaborated on bringing to Victoria a groundbreaking people-focused approach to family law conflict resolution called “Our Family in Two Homes”.
Instead of the traditional approach to family law, which too often consists of lawyers taking down facts from clients and applying these facts to the law, “Our Family in Two Homes” starts by helping people develop greater personal insight into themselves and each other so they can collaboratively decide what outcomes they want to achieve.
“Our Family in Two Homes” was developed in Canada by an esteemed collaborative family lawyer and mediator Jacinta Gallant, who has granted Nicholes Family Lawyers and Resolve Conflict Family Lawyers permission to pioneer this innovative approach to family law in Victoria.
Nicholes Family Lawyers Partner Nadine Udorovic said that clients who choose to adopt the “Our Family in Two Homes” approach use a set of specially designed workbooks to answer questions related not only to typical family law issues which arise when people separate, but also ways to improve communication, trust, conflict resolution, goal-sharing and more.
“The workbooks, which are based on the Insight Approach to Conflict, are another tool in the kit to help parties communicate better by encouraging self-reflection at the start of the legal process and helping set the scene for dialogue as opposed to debate, for consensus, not conflict,” Ms Udorovic said.
“When this becomes the starting point for discussion, family law matters have the potential to be resolved more quickly, with less expense and reduced stress and anxiety – not only for the ex-partners but also the children in the family.”
There are currently three “Our Family in Two Homes” workbooks in the series:
- “Our Family in Two Homes” – for people separating where children are part of the family
- “Our Family in a Few Homes – for separating couples with adult children
- “Designing our Future Together” - for couples who are moving in together, getting married, blending families, or looking for a relationship refresh or marital mediation.
Resolve Conflict Family Lawyers Director Cathy Gale said that the “Our Family in Two Homes” approach would not suit everyone; both sides did not have to use it, and there may be situations where alternative approaches were more appropriate, but she was delighted to be able to offer it to clients as an option.
“Our Family in Two Homes” is grounded in the belief that with the right support, people can be empowered to make the best decisions for their new kind of family,” Ms Gale said.
“The approach is also highly beneficial to family lawyers because - more so than in many other areas of law - a deep personal understanding of one’s clients is essential to success in our work.”
“Our Family in Two Homes” has been customised for family law in more than 30 legal jurisdictions, across Canada, the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Spain and England since its launch in 2019.