It is a style of Divorce you may not have heard of.
Collaborative law is a process for divorcing couples to sort out the arrangements for the children and the finances.
Each spouse appoints their own collaboratively trained lawyer but instead of negotiations being through solicitors letters, emails and phone calls it is conducted at round table meetings. “four way meetings”.
Each spouse attends a four-way meeting with their collaborative lawyer. The lawyer will be with their client throughout the meeting to guide and advise.
Before the Collaborative process can commence both spouse and their collaborative lawyers sign a “participation agreement”. This agreement states neither spouse will issue court proceedings and are committed to working out the arrangements on divorce outside of the court process.
If, however, discussions break down and cannot be reinstated then the collaborative process comes to an end. If one party, then issues court proceedings then both the collaborative lawyers must cease assisting the spouses. This is an incentive for the spouses to work through the issues that need sorting and both be open to compromise.
What are the benefits of Collaborative Law?
It reduces hostility and encourages communication between the parties, which is a huge advantage when there are children involved.
The spouses can reach terms of settlement that works best for their family unit and therefore different to what a court can order
The issues to be discussed and agreed upon are identified earlier on.
It is cheaper than a contested court application
Spouses have the opportunity to listen to their spouses thinking behind any comments made in a controlled environment.
The spouses remain in control of the discussions and what terms are agreed. This allows more creativity and flexibility in the arrangements agreed
I am a collaborative trained lawyer and am happy to have a free discovery consultation to determine if the collaborative process is right for you as it is not the right process for every divorcing couple.