Collaboration A Better Way To Separate

VACP is a group that brings together Melbourne’s leading Family Lawyers, Family Counsellors and Financial Professionals, to assist separating couples to settle out of Court.

Welcome to the Victorian Association of Collaborative Professionals

Collaborative practice empowers you to resolve your property settlement and children`s arrangements, without judges or magistrates making decisions for you.

Together with specially trained Collaborative family lawyers, family counsellors and financial professionals, you will be supported and guided to reach legally binding Agreements, within a respectful process intended to reduce the impact of conflict on you and your children.

The secret of its power is that everybody, including the team and both separating partners, works together to construct a viable resolution based upon the values and interests of both ex-partners.
It is the skill and experience of the team working together with you on your behalf that helps both of you develop the options for your (and your children’s) future constructively, pragmatically, and respectfully.


Given the sensitivities involved in ending a long term relationship, couples find Collaborative Practice to be a welcome alternative to the often destructive aspects of an adversarial process:

I was absolutely dreading the arguments about what to do with our kids, but the process captured our determination to work together to make sure the girls made it through. I’m sure that the reason was that the team worked together really well so that we could logically make decisions.


I felt scared about being in the same room with Paul trying to negotiate really important things. And I really wanted to stay in the house. I was really surprised to hear from Paul that he felt scared too. Then we were able to work with the lawyers and the financial planner to look at options together.


Even though we have now sold the house, we wanted you all to know how grateful we are that we were able to work things out, and that all three boys have moved to the new places and the new schools pretty easily. So this is just a fan card from the both of us!



You may be referred into a collaborative process by your collaboratively trained psychologist, financial professional or lawyer.

Each party must engage a lawyer who has been specially trained in collaboration and who is able to help you negotiate in a way that focusses on the needs of your own family.
In collaboration, all of the negotiations happen around the table with you, your spouse and each of your lawyers present.

Once you have each briefed your lawyer and, where appropriate, met with your team psychologist and/or financial professional, the next step will be a team meeting.

Where there is a psychologist on the team, that person will chair the meetings and will also assist in resolving issues around time with children.

Where there is a financial professional involved, they will assist in helping the parties work through budgeting and household finance issues as well as presenting the financial impact of possible options for property settlement.

Prior to each meeting an agenda is developed to deal with the issues most important to the separating couple and the process culminates in the parties reaching agreement about their children and finances which is then prepared into appropriate legally binding documents.

The number of meetings required depends on the pace of the parties and the complexity of the matter. Most matters will resolve in say four team meetings.

The steps involved in the process in summary are as follows:


Collaborative Practice is an alternative dispute resolution process that has many advantages.

  • Both parties goals are explored and respected
  • Your communication with each other will be strengthened for this process and post separation
  • The needs of your children will be prioritised
  • You are actively involved in all aspects of your settlement
  • The process reduces hostility and promotes an amicable future

Find a collaboratively trained lawyer or family consultant or financial professional, by accessing the “FIND A COLLABORATIVE PRACTITIONER” tab at the top of this page


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