Collaborative law is a relatively new process that is fundamentally changing the way lawyers deal with family law. For separating couples who generally want a fair solution and wish to deal with the issues as amicably as possible it may provide an ideal way forward.
Under the Collaborative law process, lawyers for each party will sign an agreement which prevents them acting if the Collaborative process breaks down. The idea is that the lawyers will then be absolutely committed to helping you find the best solutions by agreement rather than litigation. It is of course generally better to reach an agreement which represents a bit of give and take on each side rather than have a Judge unilaterally decide on a settlement.
There will be full and frank disclosure of all relevant facts and documents before any discussions take place. This is to ensure that the discussions are fair and meaningful.
The next stage will be for the parties to sit down in a room together with their lawyers and discuss the issues. For it to work it needs the right people with the right frame of mind. It does not mean that there may not be serious disagreements about some issues – if there were no disagreements then the process would not be necessary. The agenda for the discussions is set by the parties.
At Bhogal & Co. Solicitors, we do advocate Collaborative law and will be able to provide you with a solicitor trained as a Collaborative lawyer.
If you believe Collaborative law might assist you then it may be worthwhile talking to your partner or spouse about it and sharing the information detailed above.