Collaborative law

 

Collaborative law is a family law process which provides a means of resolving family disputes without going to court. It can be used to make agreements about children, finances and other personal matters following a separation or divorce.

In the collaborative law process all participants - the two parties and their respective solicitors - agree in writing that they will not go to court. This agreement is signed at the first meeting.

Later, if one party decides to go to court, both parties must change solicitors. If you are unsure if you need to go to court to resolve your dispute, call us on 0800 1777 162 and we will explain your options.

How does it work?

  • You will both meet with your respective collaborative solicitors to discuss your family-related dispute and what you should expect at the collaborative law meetings. Then both solicitors will speak to each other to plan a flexible agenda for your meetings
  • You, your partner and your solicitors will then come face-to-face for a series of meetings known as 'four way meetings'. During these meetings you and your partner will each get a chance to discuss your individual concerns and priorities
  • Other experts such as financial or child advisors can be enlisted as part of these meetings to provide advice
  • Each meeting is minuted and action points for subsequent meetings are agreed upon
  • There is no letter-writing in the process. All matters are dealt with face-to-face in a non-confrontational manner. This is particularly important if you and your partner have children
  • Once you and your partner have come to an agreement, your solicitors will draw up an agreed document which is then submitted to the court for approval
  • Throughout the whole process neither you nor your partner will be required to attend court

Divorce situations

The collaborative divorce process is designed to encourage co-operation and disclosure. At the end of each meeting a set of target goals are drawn up for the next meeting. In some cases the open and honest environment of the four-way meetings can improve future communication between parties. The process is less costly and faster than court litigation.

During these meetings you and your partner can discuss issues such as a financial settlement, what should happen to the marital home or with whom your children should live.

The collaborative law process means that you and your partner retain control of the whole process and collaborative law solicitors are only present to provide legal support and guidance. For more information on family mediators visit our page on how to use dispute mediators.

Thinking about collaborative law? Contact Law can recommend a collaborative law specialist to get you results. Call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above.

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