Collaborative Practice

Collaborative Practice is a new and highly effective way of managing separation without going to court.

Like family dispute resolution or mediation, Collaborative Practice supports you in making your own agreements about the future. However, in Collaborative Practice, you also have the advantage of legal support/advise and financial support/information within a team that also includes a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner with potential to add in separate conflict coaches and/or child consultants as required.

The team works together to support the family and signs an agreement to stay out of court.

Usually, a team consists of four different members:

  • Each client has their own Collaborative Family Lawyer who will provide legal advice and draw up consent orders (if required);
  • a Financial Specialist to provide information on managing finances and property matters in ways that best suits your current needs and plans for the future;
  • a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner who will manage the process and may also provide coaching to support both of you through this time;
  • a Child Consultant who works to give children a voice within the process to help parents to make child-focused and developmentally appropriate arrangements where needed.

Who will I see?

In the first instance, you will see the Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner for Intake and Assessment. Once a decision has been made to move into a Collaborative Practice model, you will then choose a Collaboratively Trained lawyer (see links provided). A financial specialist/neutral will be appointed by the team and additional team members (such as coaches and/or child consultants) will be brought in if required.

Are there other related services?

This service is available to all clients who might be considering accessing a Family Relationship Centre or Relationships Australia SA Family Dispute Resolution program. Currently, this is only available through the Adelaide Family Relationships Centre and/or Relationships Australia SA FDR Program at 161 Frome St Adelaide.

How do I make contact?

To find out more, contact Relationships Australia SA on 08 8419 2000.

To find a Collaborative Lawyer go to:

The Relationships Australia SA Collaborative Practice Group members charge a fixed rate as per below.

For a member of the Relationships Australia SA Collaborative Practice Group click here.

Other sources for finding a Collaborative Practice trained lawyer are:

International Academy of Collaborative Professionals

Collaborative Practice South Australia

The Law Society of South Australia – Accredited Specialists

External work

Relationships Australia SA Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners are available to assist in private collaborative practice and/or to mediate private lawyer negotiations.

Lawyers who are interested in engaging Relationships Australia SA’s Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners can contact the Executive General Manager, Post Separation and Gambling Help Services, Virginia Leeuwenburg for fees and availability.

Legally Assisted Mediations within Relationships Australia SA

This is a process where your Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners will make an assessment of the appropriateness of offering this additional service.

This is not something that can be requested by clients and/or lawyers and is only for a small group of clients.

It would generally be assessed as an option only once at least two Family Dispute Resolution sessions have occurred.


To view cost structures, click here.

The transparency and predictability of the cost structure enables families to only pay for what they need and to avoid unexpected and escalating charges. This is in contrast to the standard litigation process where costs can build quickly and without notice.

Service Resources

Service Enquiry

Use this form to enquire about our services.