Having made one of the most difficult decisions in your life, it is easy to think that you have to choose the traditional “adversarial” option of engaging a solicitor to “fight” for your rights in order to “win” what you can get from the marriage. But there is another way!
A way which is far more dignified, fair and most importantly minimises the emotional trauma for all those involved.
Collaborative Law is a form of alternative dispute resolution for family issues such as divorce, finances and children arrangements. A settlement is reached in a non-confrontational way and without court involvement, based upon co-operation between parties through assistance from their collaboratively trained lawyers in round table meetings.
The cornerstone of the Collaborative model is that the couple agree to resolve their issues whether that be divorce, finances or child related or a combination of all three without going to court.
Both parties and solicitors sign a contract called a “Participation Agreement” formalising their resolution in favour of this route and their commitment to be bound by it. This is quite powerful as it ensures that both parties stick with the process and find ways of making progress even during periods where they may disagree with one another.
A series of meetings follow (as many as are required) where the issues are discussed until an agreement on those issues are reached. With the exception of financial disclosure, everything discussed and presented in these meetings is privileged and confidential, which encourages everyone to speak openly and transparently in order to try to find solutions which work for both parties. Should the process break down, neither party is permitted to refer to these discussions in any future court proceedings. This often results in accelerated conclusions being reached.
Whilst both Collaborative Law and Mediation are based on the principle of “negotiated settlement”, unlike Mediation, where both parties are in meetings conducted by a neutral mediator who cannot offer legal advice, Collaborative Law involves each party instructing their own collaboratively trained lawyer who is present in each session and able to offer advice as and when required.
There is full transparency with advice and thought spoken openly within the meetings. The lawyers prepare for each meeting with each other and with their respective clients. All meetings are conducted 4 ways and there is usually a post 4 way debrief between client and lawyer and then lawyer and lawyer.
Consequently, by comparison to mediation, the collaborative process requires more of the lawyers time and can be more expensive, but the potential cost difference is offset by the fact that it will be the lawyers who draft and agree the final version of court papers, having been part of the process from the outset which will reduce the chance of delays or misunderstandings occurring.
One of the advantages of this process is that it is not driven by a court imposed timetable. This means it can be built around the parties’ individual timetable and priorities. As a rule of thumb it can take between 5-6 meetings depending on the complexity of the issues and whether other professionals are required to assist the case.
Costs will largely depend on the issues, whether other professionals are required to assist and ultimately how many meetings are required to resolve the matter. Costs and how the process will be paid for are usually primary considerations discussed from the outset and also between lawyer/lawyer and at the initial 4 way meeting. The costs are usually greater than mediation but are comparable to that of the more traditional divorce/financial proceedings route but can be far quicker and are conducted in a far less confrontational way.
Although generally considered a healthier route to take with more successful long term outcomes reached consensually, collaborative law is not right for everyone. In cases where there is a history or allegations of domestic abuse, or where one party seeks to use the process for tactical purposes or to pressure the other party to agree to their proposals.
Sometimes the threat of having to dis-instruct your chosen lawyer can also be a disincentive to entering the process though equally having a binding contract can also be a strong incentive to stick to the process and find a way to reach a resolution to a particular matter rather than abandoning the process at the first sign of an impasse.
If you would like to know more about this process or feel this could be something you and your partner would benefit from, please contact Matt Clemence at [email protected] or telephone Ipswich 01473 213311 or Colchester 01206 584584, where Matt will be happy to speak with you.
Subscribe Now for Newsletter and Updates
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Functional cookies help to perform certain functionalities like sharing the content of the website on social media platforms, collect feedbacks, and other third-party features.
|_zcsr_tmp||Zoho - This cookie is necessary for the login function on the website.|
|bcookie||2 years||This cookie is set by linkedIn. The purpose of the cookie is to enable LinkedIn functionalities on the page.|
|kerseys-_zldp||1 year||This cookie identifies the unique visitors for the website, www.kerseys.co.uk for Zoho Live Chat functionality.|
|kerseys-_zldt||1 day||This cookie identifies unique visits for a visitor in the website, www.kerseys.co.uk for Zoho Live Chat functionality.|
|lang||This cookie is used to store the language preferences of a user to serve up content in that stored language the next time user visit the website.|
|lidc||1 day||This cookie is set by LinkedIn and used for routing.|
|ypsession||1 day||For Yumpu PDF viewer.|
|yumpu_slc||7 days||PDF viewer|
Performance cookies are used to understand and analyze the key performance indexes of the website which helps in delivering a better user experience for the visitors.
Analytical cookies are used to understand how visitors interact with the website. These cookies help provide information on metrics the number of visitors, bounce rate, traffic source, etc.
|_ga||2 years||This cookie is installed by Google Analytics. The cookie is used to calculate visitor, session, campaign data and keep track of site usage for the site's analytics report. The cookies store information anonymously and assign a randomly generated number to identify unique visitors.|
|_gat_UA-46814924-1||1 minute||This is a pattern type cookie set by Google Analytics, where the pattern element on the name contains the unique identity number of the account or website it relates to. It appears to be a variation of the _gat cookie which is used to limit the amount of data recorded by Google on high traffic volume websites.|
|_gid||1 day||This cookie is installed by Google Analytics. The cookie is used to store information of how visitors use a website and helps in creating an analytics report of how the website is doing. The data collected including the number visitors, the source where they have come from, and the pages visted in an anonymous form.|
|_hjAbsoluteSessionInProgress||30 minutes||This cookie is used to detect the first pageview session of a user. This is a True/False flag set by the cookie.|
|_hjFirstSeen||30 minutes||This is set by Hotjar to identify a new user’s first session. It stores a true/false value, indicating whether this was the first time Hotjar saw this user. It is used by Recording filters to identify new user sessions.|
|_hjIncludedInPageviewSample||30 minutes||This cookie is set to let Hotjar know whether that user is included in the data sampling defined by your site's pageview limit.|
|_hjTLDTest||session||When the Hotjar script executes we try to determine the most generic cookie path we should use, instead of the page hostname. This is done so that cookies can be shared across subdomains (where applicable). To determine this, we try to store the _hjTLDTest cookie for different URL substring alternatives until it fails. After this check, the cookie is removed.|
|vuid||2 years||This domain of this cookie is owned by Vimeo. This cookie is used by vimeo to collect tracking information. It sets a unique ID to embed videos to the website.|
Advertisement cookies are used to provide visitors with relevant ads and marketing campaigns. These cookies track visitors across websites and collect information to provide customized ads.
|_fbp||3 months||This cookie is set by Facebook to deliver advertisement when they are on Facebook or a digital platform powered by Facebook advertising after visiting this website.|
|AVPUID||1 year||imagazine.advertserve.com Used to identify the visitor across visits and devices. This allows the website to present the visitor with relevant advertisement - The service is provided by third party advertisement hubs, which facilitate real-time bidding for advertisers.|
|b3e783bb62||This cookie is set by the provider Zoho. This cookie is used for collecting information on user interaction with the web-campaign content. This cookie helps the website owners to promote products and events on the CRM-campaign-platform.|
|bscookie||2 years||This cookie is a browser ID cookie set by Linked share Buttons and ad tags.|
|fr||3 months||The cookie is set by Facebook to show relevant advertisments to the users and measure and improve the advertisements. The cookie also tracks the behavior of the user across the web on sites that have Facebook pixel or Facebook social plugin.|
|MUID||1 year 24 days||Used by Microsoft as a unique identifier. The cookie is set by embedded Microsoft scripts. The purpose of this cookie is to synchronize the ID across many different Microsoft domains to enable user tracking.|
|NID||6 months||This cookie is used to a profile based on user's interest and display personalized ads to the users.|
|test_cookie||15 minutes||This cookie is set by doubleclick.net. The purpose of the cookie is to determine if the user's browser supports cookies.|
|UserMatchHistory||1 month||Linkedin - Used to track visitors on multiple websites, in order to present relevant advertisement based on the visitor's preferences.|
Other uncategorized cookies are those that are being analyzed and have not been classified into a category as yet.
|_hjid||1 year||This cookie is set by Hotjar. This cookie is set when the customer first lands on a page with the Hotjar script. It is used to persist the random user ID, unique to that site on the browser. This ensures that behavior in subsequent visits to the same site will be attributed to the same user ID.|
|AnalyticsSyncHistory||1 month||No description|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-functional||1 year||The cookie is set by GDPR cookie consent to record the user consent for the cookies in the category "Functional".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-others||1 year||No description|
|S||1 hour||No description|