Our lawyers were among the first family lawyers to train as collaborative lawyers. Now, many of our family lawyers are qualified in using collaborative law for divorce and have considerable experience of working with people in a variety of situations to reach a fair divorce agreement.
What you need to know
Collaborative law is a non-confrontational approach to resolving the issues that arise when a relationship breaks down. This could be about your divorce, sorting out your financial arrangements or agreeing how you will co-parent your children in the future.
You and your ex work together with your specially trained collaborative lawyers to resolve issues and agree terms for your divorce or separation through a series of face-to-face meetings.
An important feature is that you sign an agreement at the start (a participation agreement) that commits everyone to using the collaborative process to achieve an agreement. If the negotiations break down and you need to go to court to sort out your finances or the arrangements for your children, you will need to instruct new lawyers because the agreement prevents your collaborative lawyers continuing to represent you. This provides an incentive for everyone, including your lawyers, to find a solution.
Both of you will have your lawyer by your side throughout the process, meaning you will have their support and legal advice along the way.
The collaborative law process is private and confidential as well as being very flexible. It can be tailored to suit your family’s circumstances. You can fix the rules and the agenda you want to follow in the meetings. You can also bring specialists into the meetings, such as independent financial advisers, accountants and family consultants to help you practically and emotionally. As a result, collaborative law can often result in more creative solutions than those that can normally be found through the traditional route of going directly to the courts.
Once you have an agreement, your collaborative lawyers can prepare a settlement agreement setting out what you have agreed. This then goes to the court to be approved and turned into a binding order.