Collaborative family law is the constructive way to divorce with dignity. Collaborative divorce is described as the best way to have a friendly divorce or an amicable divorce. Collaborative family law has been called the best way to divorce and separate and to arrange child custody. Collaborative divorce has also been described as ‘the way your divorce lawyer would do their own divorce.’
Collaborative divorce ensures both of you can discuss things constructively. You are put back incontrol of the of the arrangements that need to be made. This is better than Judge imposing their idea of what best suits your family. We only use the court system to obtain a consent order to record your agreement.
The discussions take place round the table with your spouse and each of you has a Collaborative Solicitor. Usually we only need 3 to 5 meetings from beginning to end, even for complex and tough disputes. We can resolve any dispute that afeects your family such as child custody or finacial settlements on separation.
Collaborative is a way of resolving any family dispute that relies upon mutual respect and with the intention that both of you come out ok on a ‘win-win’ basis. There is no points-scoring or posturing between the lawyers (the expensive and counter-productive bit of traditional negotiations where it is one side against the other). You get independent legal advice from me as your lawyer but I also need to be able to work constructively with your partner’s lawyer.
Collaborative law is still a rigorous option in that requires full financial disclosure and legal advice.
The two lawyers agree not to act for you in contested court proceedings. The discussions are ‘without prejudice’ and in this way way you and your partner are free to discuss and explore all the options that might suit both of you without the fear of it being used against you in any court case. Instead, the two lawyers will use completely different skills to resolve the dispute. I spend some of my time training other specialist family lawyers in collaborative law.
The aim is to ensure you can both be on your child’s graduation photo or both attend sports day etc and so you can communicate with each other as co-parents without using lawyers in the future.
If the process breaks down with no agreement then collaborative lawyers cannot act for you in contested court proceedings (which means they are committed to resolving your dispute since they will not be paid for any court case).
Does not work if one of you has a hidden agenda, such as not disclosing true finances or hoping to bully their way to a settlement (it won’t be allowed to happen).