Collaborative law is a process where you and your former partner instruct two separate lawyers both of whom are specially trained Collaborative practitioners. The four of you sign an agreement “ a participation agreement” wherein you confirm that you will strive to resolve issues amicably and outside a formal litigation process.
Discussions then take place during a number four way meetings and together you and your lawyers work out the details as to a financial settlement/child care arrangements and what practical steps are needed to formalise your separation.
The idea is to allow you to stay in control of the process of separation and divorce by giving you the opportunity to have your say in a safe and non-hostile environment and to reach a compromise which is satisfactory to both of you but will still be made into a binding court order.
The hope is that you and your former partner will be able to maintain your dignity and to keep open the lines of communication even after your separation or divorce which, if you have any, can only be in the interests of your children and also your own future peace of mind.
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.
It is really in your interests to make it work even if the process becomes difficult sometimes. Although it is rare, if ultimately you do not see any way of resolving the issues, you would both have to instruct new solicitors and start the court process off afresh.
It will almost always be cheaper to work matters through constructively together with the help of your collaborative lawyers rather than going to court to fight over issues. It should also be less costly emotionally.
Our very own Rita Veitch is an experienced collaborative lawyer adept at resolving family disputes away from the court process. To obtain expert advice and guidance on your situation, contact Rita today by calling 01256 630080.