Collaborative Law is a legal process whereby a separating couple can each appoint their own collaboratively trained lawyers to work with them by dealing with matters on a face-to-face basis by way of 4-way meetings. This affords the parties the opportunity to resolve matters in a safe and supported setting with their lawyer by their side.
This process is different from mediation as the clients have the benefit of being able to seek legal advice at every step of the way.
The overriding objective is always to reach a fair and mutually acceptable agreement that can then be made binding by the Court.
Most parties choose this approach due to the commitment they make by way of signed agreement to not go to court. The Participation Agreement sets out how each party will conduct themselves during the process. By adopting this commitment, everyone’s focus is on achieving the best possible outcomes by agreement and not through costly Court proceedings.
As part of the Agreement, parties agree that if the process breaks down then new lawyers will need to be instructed to represent them in Court Proceedings. This is a strong motivation for those involved to do all they possibly can to achieve a resolution.
Using this process results in less costs and stress and less than going to Court. Furthermore, misunderstandings can often occur through the writing and reading of correspondence and so each party is able to discuss with openness what is important to them and convey this to the other party. Hearing the other party can often be a big step towards resolving disputes.
The collaborative process is attractive to many because it is not driven by a timescale and can lead those involved to come up with creative solutions. In addition, because the settlement terms are agreed by the parties and not imposed by a Court it is often the case that the overall chances of success of the agreement working are much higher.
Sometimes it is necessary to consult specialist help during the process, for example a financial advisor, pension expert or even a child specialist might be required to join the meetings. This enables the lawyers to give the best advice possible to their respective client’s and helps to secure a tailored settlement for that particular couple or family.
If you would like more information please contact Helen on;
0203 653 1828