What is Collaborative Law?

The collaborative family law process is a way of dealing with family disputes away from the Court. Instead of conducting negotiations between you and your partner by letter or phone, you meet to work things out face to face.

Each of you will have your lawyer by your side throughout the entire negotiation process. The aim of the collaborative law is to resolve family disputes without going to court.

How does the collaborative process work?

You will both meet individually with your separate lawyers to talk about what to expect in the collaborative meetings. The meetings are commonly known as “Four-Way Meetings” as they comprise of both of you and both lawyers. You and your lawyer will discuss what you both need to do to prepare for the first meeting.

Your lawyer and your partner’s lawyer will speak either face to face or over the phone to plan for your first meeting.

The first four-way meeting

Lawyers will make sure that you understand that you are making a commitment to working out an agreement without going to court. Everyone will sign an agreement to this effect.

You and your partner will share your objectives in choosing this process. You will all plan the agenda for the next meeting. This will depend on your individual circumstances. Typically, it will include a discussion about how the children are responding to the separation.

If time permits, you may also go on to discuss financial information and agree on who will bring what financial information to the next meeting.

Subsequent four-way meetings

Subsequent meetings will deal with you and your partner’s priorities and concerns. The meetings will enable you to reach agreement on how you will share finances and arrangements with children.

Final meeting

In the final meeting, documents detailing the agreements you reach will require signing. Your lawyers will talk you through anything else that needs doing. Sometimes a firm timetable for implementation isn’t a possibility, for instance, if the family house needs selling.

How Long Does the Collaborative Process Take?

One of the benefits of the collaborative process is that it’s not driven with a timetable imposed by the court. So, to a large extent, the process will build around your family’s individual timetable and priorities.

Contact our Child & Family Solicitors, Basingstoke, Guildford, Reading, Portsmouth, Salisbury & Southampton

We are a down to earth firm of family law experts, with a friendly, human approach to legal services. We provide fair and workable solutions that put families first, with a particular focus on child law, we advise on all areas of family law, including financial disputes, prenuptials, divorce, separation and dissolution of civil partnerships.

For guidance and representation on any social care or family issues you may have, speak to one of our team. Child Law Partnership have offices in Guildford, Basingstoke, Southampton, Portsmouth and Salisbury helping families across Hampshire, Surrey, Wiltshire, Reading and the surrounding areas. We offer a fixed fee initial appointment where you can receive full advice with a follow up in writing in order that you can consider your options. Give us a call on 01256630080 or complete our enquiry form.

Child Law Partnership have offices in Basingstoke, Guilford, Southampton and Salisbury serving clients across Hampshire, Surrey and Wiltshire.


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