What is Collaborative Law?
Collaborative Law is a positive approach to relationship breakdown focused on you and your family. It is based on confidential face-to-face negotiations with your partner, with the full support of your lawyers alongside you. Other professionals are on hand to provide impartial advice to ensure both parties are fully informed when making decisions.
Divorce and separation can be a frightening and stressful experience for both parties. Upon entering into the Collaborative process, each party commits to resolving their issues in a non-adversarial way with the support of an experienced lawyer who will provide advice to their client throughout the process in order to achieve a mutually-agreed outcome.
Where the separating couple have young children, the process enables them to continue to raise their children together although they are living in separate households. The whole process enables the separating couple to achieve an agreed settlement rather than have the decisions imposed on them by a Judge.
What are the Advantages?
• Open and Honest
• You control the timescales – usually faster than the traditional approach
• Focus is on you and your family
• You control the outcome
• Minimal court involvement, if you agree
• Reduced correspondence
• ‘Round table’ meetings, where you each get to discuss what is important
• Cost efficient
• Team approach which can involve other professionals
• The focus is looking towards your future
Maintaining a Working Relationship with Your Partner
The Collaborative Approach is sometimes referred to as one of the least painful ways to divorce. Financial settlements and arrangements for children are decided together. This sense of shared ownership leads to a more satisfying separation for both parties.
Maintaining a relationship with your former partner can beis extremely important, particularly if there are children involved. Often, this relationship can break down during the divorce process as communication takes place through lawyers. This makes it difficult for the parties to truly understand the needs of the other party, and can lead to a more acrimonious relationship developing. At Hertfordshire Collaborative Law we believe that the Collaborative approach supports the development of a positive relationship with your partner as the opinions and emotional needs of each side are heard and understood.
A Collaborative Divorce means that the couple can part on mutually-agreed terms, united as parents.
How does Collaborative Law Work?
Once you have decided that you would like to proceed with the Collaborative process, your lawyer will sign an agreement that commits you to finding a resolution without going to court. This means that your lawyer would not be able to represent you in court should this be required at a later date.
In preparation for the first Collaborative meeting you will meet with your lawyer to discuss your needs and expectations. Then the two lawyers will discuss together the agenda for the meeting.
During the first meeting, you and your partner will discuss your main objectives and how these can achieved. The needs of the children will also be discussed and how they are dealing with the separation.
Further meetings will look more deeply into each individual’s situation and other professionals could be brought in for financial planning and any other needs assessed.