The Collaborative Team
Collaborative Law typically works on the basis of a team approach, with Collaborative Lawyers being uniquely placed to have access to particular experts who can come together to help you through the process. This team most often includes the expertise of a Family Consultant, a Financial Neutral and, particularly where business valuations are involved, an Accountant. When building their team, Collaborative Lawyers will only look to include other professionals who are also trained and experienced in Collaborative Law, so that you can be confident that each member of your team understands the Collaborative process and is working towards the goals that are important to you. For more information: what is Collaborative Law. [LINK]
Family Consultants can be an invaluable member of the team, enabling you to work through the Collaborative process smoothly by helping you to manage the many emotional challenges that you may face. Our team of family consultants work all across Hertfordshire and beyond.
Family Consultants can either meet with you or your former partner separately from the Collaborative process, or as an active participant in the meetings with your Lawyers. Speak with your Collaborative Lawyer about these options to help determine the best way to utilise a Family Consultant in your situation
Finances can often be one of the most difficult areas to agree. One of the benefits of Collaborative Law means that a Financial Neutral can be involved early in the Collaborative process. A Financial Neutral will act impartially to help you understand the pros and cons of the various options you are considering. The Neutral will gather financial information from both parties and use their expertise to develop the analysis and advice that will help the Collaborative Process reach the best financial solution.
Financial Neutrals are able to help you with many questions regarding budgeting and pensions. They can also help you obtain information on possible mortgage options going forward and any life insurance needs that may be required, for example, to protect your maintenance payments.
A Financial Neutral can be a very cost-effective member of the team, particularly where they are involved early on in the process. Their expertise can quickly help clarify the financial dimension of a potential settlement, typically at a lower hourly cost than a lawyer doing the same work.
In situations where you or your partner are involved in ownership of a business, our Collaborative Lawyers will bring in an Accountant. As professionals experienced in dealing with businesses of many types and sizes, Accountants will form a valuable part of the team. An Accountant can provide a neutral assessment of a business, its capabilities and its prospects, especially if you or your partner are not used to considering business matters and need reassurance in this area.
Advice covers areas such as:
- Valuations of businesses and private company shareholdings.
- Providing interim management support where you and your partner can no longer work alongside one another and appropriate business skills need to be put in place temporarily to enable the business to continue.
- Helping to bring business records up to date to help provide an accurate assessment of a business.
Additionally Accountants are well-versed in tax rules and can advise on the most tax-efficient way of undertaking transactions that may be necessary as part of your financial settlement. When money is tight, the last thing that you want is for HM Revenue & Customs to share in your settlement, if this can be avoided.
Hertfordshire Collaborative Law brings together a team of Collaborative Lawyers with experts in different fields to provide the necessary support and guidance for your divorce or separation.