This is the phrase used by our Chief Justice, Sundaresh Menon. And he is right in using this phrase. Mediation and Collaborative Family Practice are not alternative but appropriate dispute resolution methods.
Mediation, Collaborative Family Practice, Child Representative, Parent Co-ordinator are many methods and schemes referred to when we talk about family disputes. A family lawyer needs to know when to advise the appropriate scheme to the client. Being aware of the timeliness and suitability of the Scheme to a client is a crucial skill of a family lawyer.
These methods are just the means to an end – which is what the client wants out of his divorce or family dispute. The family lawyer has to understand, align to the client’s needs and then suggest the appropriate method to resolve the dispute.
The family lawyer has to have a mind set to embrace and to practice these methods besides just obtaining the training in these new areas.
The family lawyer of today is also an appropriate dispute resolution lawyer. What a client needs to know is whether his lawyer really practices negotiation, family mediation, collaborative family law or is only paying lipservice to it.