Collaborative Family Law is a private dispute resolution process enabling separating or divorcing couples to work together with their advisers to achieve a settlement which best meets the specific needs of both parties and their children without the underlying threat of litigation.
The goal is to settle your case fairly without going to court.
How does the Collaborative process work?
Each person appoints their own collaboratively trained lawyer and all four meet together to work things out face to face. Your lawyer is by your side so you have their support and legal advice as you go. Other professionals, such as independent financial advisers, accountants or family consultants, can join the team in a holistic approach to provide specialist help if and when you need it. You and the team sign an agreement (a Participation Agreement) which encourages you to resolve the issues without going to court. Everyone is absolutely committed to finding the best solution by agreement because the lawyers cannot represent you in court if the process breaks down.
How long does the Collaborative process take?
Most cases need between two and six four-way meetings and last between three and six months. The agenda and pace of progress are set by you and your partner with help from the lawyers: there is no court imposed timetable so on the whole the process can be quicker, and therefore more cost effective, than a litigated case.
You will usually start by sharing your objectives and identifying your priorities, signing the Participation Agreement once you and your partner fully understand the commitment to working out an agreement without going to court. Once agreements have been reached, a final meeting will deal with the signing of the documentation recording your settlement. Although this process is known as the “no court divorce” a court order is still necessary to ensure that any agreement is final and binding.
How much will a Collaborative divorce cost me?
This depends on how complex your case is and how many issues there are to resolve. This is something that we can discuss with you at an initial meeting to assess your case and its suitability for this process. What we can say with confidence is that it is a more economical route than court based litigation.
Will Collaborative Law suit me?
If you aspire to achieve a “good divorce”, then the collaborative process offers an ideal way forward. You and your partner will need to want to work together in an open and co-operative manner. This process will help you:-
- Engage in a respectful, positive and problem solving approach to the resolution of your issues.
- Develop and maintain family relationships after the divorce.
- Avoid the emotional and financial cost of court proceedings and the uncertainty of litigation.
- Make joint decisions in a way which supports your own goals and priorities.
- Protect your children from dispute and strengthen your co-parenting relationship.
Speak with our Specialist Collaborative Family Lawyer based in Cirencester and Cheltenham today.
Meg Moss is an experienced Collaborative Family Lawyer. She is committed to guiding her clients to achieve constructive and workable solutions.