Collaborative law is a process which provides an alternative method for dealing with divorce, children issues and the resolution of financial matters following the breakdown of a relationship. It is different from mediation in that you will both have a legal advisor present at all meetings, thereby benefiting from legal advice at every stage of the process.
This is a co-operative approach in which both parties and their lawyers commit to deciding matters without involving the Court (other than to deal with the legal formalities of the divorce and to approve the financial settlement you reach). Any negotiations are conducted in face to face meetings with everyone working together in an open and transparent manner, to resolve the issues between you in a way that is tailored to you and your family in order to best meet your needs.
What are the benefits of Collaborative Law?
- It enables you and your spouse or partner to set the agenda and ensures everyone is aware about what matters to you most in the negotiations;
- You can ask questions and seek further clarification then and there in a face-to-face meeting rather than waiting for letters to be exchanged;
- You can move at your own pace through the process – Court proceedings can take many months or even years, whereas with Collaborative Law, meetings can be arranged according to your timetable because it is a far more flexible process and a resolution can generally be reached far sooner;
- There is less room for misunderstandings and any misunderstandings that do arise can be dealt with immediately;
- There is no need for lengthy, aggressive or costly correspondence between solicitors;
- Other professionals can advise you both together and attend the face to face meetings, for example, an IFA or a divorce coach;
- You get to decide your future and you can explore creative options that might work for your family unit rather than having a result imposed upon you in a courtroom;
- Once an agreement is reached the solicitors already involved will draft the agreement and file it at court – this is just paperwork and no one needs to attend court;
- This process often helps couples to maintain a more harmonious relationship than can otherwise be the case. Being able to avoid acrimonious court proceedings means that couples are often better able to communicate and maintain a good relationship after divorce which is particularly beneficial if children are involved.
To deal with your matter collaboratively, you must each choose a lawyer that is collaboratively trained; here at Glynis Wright & Co, we are one of the few firms locally that support collaborative law and have a specialist collaborative lawyer within the firm called Lisa-Marie Leanders, the author of this blog.
We pride ourselves on our non-confrontational and constructive approach to family law matters. We have specialist solicitors who are able to guide you through the process of separation and divorce, guaranteeing you have the best legal support and the advice that you need to reach the most beneficial agreement for your family as a whole.