Resolving issues following a relationship breakdown can be very difficult and you may not want to add the stress of a court battle to an already difficult time. Our collaborative lawyers can try to help you reach resolutions without the need for a court appearance.
What is collaborative law?
It is a relatively new approach to dealing with family disputes. You will each appoint your own lawyer and everyone meets face to face to negotiate with the assistance of the lawyers. You and your partner remain in control of the process with your lawyers there to provide you with expert legal advice as you go.
How does the collaborative law process work?
The most important thing about collaborative law is that you both need to agree to be part of the process – if you don’t then it’s not the solution for you. You’ll then need to appoint one of our collaboratively trained lawyers. We’ll contact your partner’s lawyer to suggest the use of collaborative law and if they’re in agreement we can begin.
We’ll prepare you for what to expect at the meetings which are generally known as ‘four-way’ meetings (you, your partner and the two lawyers). At the first meeting, you’ll sign an agreement called a participation agreement that ensures you both understand your commitment to working through your problems together without going to court. You’ll discuss each person’s objectives, create an agenda for the next meeting and agree how financial information is to be shared.
In the following meetings, you’ll deal with one another’s concerns and priorities. You’ll be able to enlist experts to assist with a wide range of issues such as financial planning and pensions. The meetings should enable you both to reach an agreement on financial division, arrangements for your children and divorce.
At the final meeting an agreement detailing what has been decided will be signed by all parties.
How long will it take?
Generally it is much quicker than going to court. There are no court timetables to work to so the length of time taken is determined by each of you and your ability to reach an agreement.
How much will it cost?
This depends on the number of hours that you instruct your lawyer and whether other professionals are involved in order to reach a solution.
If an agreement cannot be reached, new lawyers will have to be instructed by both parties and it is likely that court proceedings will ensue.
Our team of experts are here to help you so please get in touch.