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Collaborative law offers separating couples emotional release

Collaborative law gives separating couples an emotional outlet unavailable to them in the traditional litigation process, Toronto-area family lawyer Nicolle Kopping-Pavars tells the Law Times newspaper.

In the article, Kopping-Pavars, principal of NKP Law, says she latched on to the collaborative approach soon after establishing her legal practice in Canada following her move from her native South Africa.

The process, which traces its roots to the U.S. in the 1980s, involves both parties and their lawyers working together towards a final settlement after agreeing to keep the matter confidential and out of the courts, Law Times reports. 

Kopping-Pavars says that the emphasis placed on teamwork and the emotional progress of the couple at the heart of the dispute drew her to collaborative law.

“The realness and the emotion of separation — collaborative law allows that to come to the table, whereas litigation and courts don’t allow it to come to the table, and then people stay in that litigation mode because their voices and their interests and their goals and their feelings are never addressed,” she told the paper.

The story says the practice is growing in Ontario, with an estimated 19 practice groups in the province and 500 trained collaboration professionals. Kopping-Pavars is working to expand its reach, explaining that she has returned to South Africa to teach collaborative law techniques to lawyers there.

She tells that her next trip in August will be to give the keynote address at the annual conference of the South African Association of Mediators, and that she will also conduct collaborative training and mindfulness workshops during the visit.

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