For some of my clients, mediation is not appropriate. They may still want to resolve matters amicably and wish to avoid going to court. They are open to negotiations with their husband/wife but would feel more comfortable having their solicitor present for this. For these types of clients, they may wish to consider the option of Collaborative Law.
What is it?
“Separating and divorcing couples can now deal with issues arising upon the breakdown of their relationship by a process known as Collaborative Law. This process involves both parties signing up to an agreement which states, amongst other things, that they will not make an Application to the Court to deal with resolution of issues between them.
These issues can include matters relating to finances or children or, indeed, both.”
What does it involve?
“Each party instructs a Collaborative Lawyer and they will then attend several (usually four or five) meetings to discuss issues ‘around the table’.
Both parties can, of course, seek legal advice from their respective lawyers during this process.
The key to the Collaborative Law process is working together to reach a resolution of issues between the parties and agreeing not to issue Court proceedings.
It works extremely well where couples can talk openly and freely regarding possible outcomes and solutions.
There is also the opportunity to seek advice along the way from other professionals, e.g. accountants.”
What are the benefits to the client?
“Legal fees involved are often much less than through the Court process.
One of the main positive outcomes of Collaborative Law is that the parties reach agreement together and maintain control over the process itself and the speed that matters progress.
The Collaborative Law process is not suitable for everyone, particularly, for example, if the relationship has been an abusive one, or if there is doubt that one party may not be completely frank about their financial circumstances.”
The information for this blog was provided by Mandy Spring, a Collaboratively trained lawyer at Barlow Robbins, Solicitors in Surrey – www.BarlowRobbins.com.
For information on the other options available to you for reaching a financial settlement in divorce, click on the links below for my other blogs in this series:
Rhiannon Ford Divorce Consultancy provides support and guidance for people going through divorce and/or separation, working with individuals before, during and after the legal process. I often work with family law solicitors, mediators and colloborative lawyers to provide specialised professional help to clients struggling with the legal process. Divorce and separation is a challenging time in anyone’s life. I am here to help. Please get in touch here.
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