Collaborative Law, as the name implies, means working with a former partner towards a common goal, rather than approaching matters in a positional and adversarial way. Trying to reach an amicable solution and finding a resolution that both parties can commit to, whilst difficult and involving a good degree of compromise, in most cases, is a positive thing.
So, how is ‘collaborative law’ different?
Initially it’s important that both parties agree they don’t want to go to court to resolve matters but would rather manage the settlement between themselves and their legal advisors. The case will be conducted through a series of joint meetings between the clients and their lawyers and advice will be given openly- as opposed to in secret, behind closed doors.
Collaborative third parties such as financial advisers or counsellors can also be asked to join the meetings to provide information, assistance and support. Ultimately all parties work together to try to reach the goals that are set at the outset of the process by the couple themselves and it’s important to keep sight of these goals throughout the process. All parties work together reach the best possible outcome as efficiently as possible.
What issues can be resolved using collaborative law?
Many family disputes can be resolved using this process including divorce matters which usually go hand in hand with the settlement of the financial issues arising from the breakdown of a marriage, child disputes and cohabitation matters.
Is collaborative law more cost effective?
Using the collaborative process usually allows clients to control their costs, and in most cases is more cost effective than proceeding to a final hearing in the court process.
Although a different scenario, one of the highest profile examples is that of the Royal family who, in the last few weeks have had to work together as a family around the table to resolve the difficulties that have arisen – clearly in this circumstance a protracted dispute would not assist anybody. So if it’s good enough for Royals…!