The Collaborative Approach
Collaborative Law is a new idea in UK divorce law and one which Pearson Solicitors have embraced as a ‘solution’ for divorcing couples to help reduce the emotional and financial cost on couples and their children.
It can also be useful for couples who have simply grown apart but remain amicable and we acted recently for one couple who had been married for 50 years, did not want a hostile divorce and preferred to separate amicably via collaboration.
As Collaborative lawyer, Tracy Crompton, explains: “Traditionally, when couples split, each take independent advice and, through lawyers try to reach agreement on how best to settle differences, decide arrangements for the children’s care and to how split the assets.
“If these issues cannot be agreed, as a last resort, it’s left to the family court to decide. That creates delay, uncertainty and leads to additional economical and emotional costs. There is another way and that’s collaborative law.”
What is collaborative law?
Collaborative law is a process for people to sort out their problems on relationship breakdown. Each of you appoints your own lawyer, but instead of conducting negotiations by letter or over the telephone, the discussions take place over a series of “four way meetings”.
Such meetings involve both of you and each of your collaborative lawyers. Your collaborative lawyer will be there with you throughout the process to give you support and advice as you go along.
The Benefits of Collaborative Law in Divorce.
The process is very different from litigation or court processes and can reduce hostility and encourage communication. Other benefits include:
working together to reach an outcome that best suits the needs of the whole family.
your relationship with your partner tends to be improved because you are communicating directly – this is especially important where children are involved
it is easier to identify quickly what the issues are and to sort them out – this saves time and is faster than writing letters or making telephone calls
it avoids the expense of preparing for court, as well as the unpleasantness involved and the cost
you can be more creative in finding out what the best solutions are by sitting round a table; you can listen to each other and be more constructive about what will work in practice
the process is flexible, so you can meet as often as neeed
with the help of your collaborative lawyer, you will be making the decisions yourselves – for both of you and for your family
As Tracy adds: “I find it a privilege being able to help separated couples reach lasting agreements in this way. Recently, I assisted a separated couple, who had been married almost 50 years, to achieve a financial solution in an amicable manner. I was proud to be part of that process”.
For advice on collaborative law, stress-free divorce and how to achieve a good divorce call Tracy on 0161 785 3500
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Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.
This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.