What Is Collaborative Law?
As the name suggests, collaborative law seeks to settle disagreements in the divorce process through a non-confrontational approach to dispute resolution. This process begins with both parties signing an agreement or otherwise confirming that they do not wish to go to Court and will instead commit to the collaborative law approach.
Once decided, each party appoints a trained collaborative Solicitor to represent them. The couple and their respective Solicitors will then attend a series of four-way meetings, sometimes with a family consultant present as well, to discuss and attempt to settle any outstanding issues, from finances and logistics to arrangements for children.
There is no strict formula for these meetings. As long as both parties consent, the time, place, and attendees present can all be tailored to suit the couple’s individual needs. Other professionals will often be brought into the process as needed, from accountants and financial advisors to life coaches and children specialists.
How Collaborative Law Helps The Divorce Process
Taking a dispute to Court as a contested hearing can take months – sometimes even years – to resolve and can be both financially and emotionally draining. Collaborative law offers an alternative approach. Provided a couple is willing to work together constructively, the benefits of collaborative law are numerous.
While the exact number of four-way meetings a dispute will take to resolve varies, on average the process can be completed within a couple of months. With the quicker resolution comes a lower financial cost, too. Perhaps just as importantly, the collaborative approach hands more control to those involved. Instead of a Judge making a final decision, in collaborative law the ultimate resolution to any dispute is arrived at through a process of constructive conversation, meaning that the end result is likely to be much more acceptable to all parties.
It is important to note that, while similar, collaborative law is not the same as mediation. In mediation, a disputing couple will attend meetings with a single, independent mediation-trained Solicitor, with no legal representation of their own present.
What We Can Offer You
If you are undergoing a divorce or separation and are interested in using collaborative law to resolve outstanding issues with your partner, it is important to thoroughly understand the process and what it will require. It is even more important to have a reliable and experienced Solicitor with you in your four-way meetings.
We can provide you with an experienced Solicitor, trained and accredited by Resolution in collaborative law, who can work with you to offer guidance and advice and will reliably represent your needs throughout collaborative meetings.
Our Past Cases
Below are some examples of collaborative law cases that our Family Law team have conducted in the past:
- Represented a husband and worked together collaboratively with wife’s Solicitor to agree division of financial assets including significant pension assets in excess of £1,000.000 in value. This included in particular how the pension assets could be fairly shared.
- Acting on behalf of a husband with regard to division of property including the family home and reaching an agreement through collaborative discussions as to when property was to be sold and how proceeds should be split.