Recent statistics suggest that almost half of UK marriages will come to an end, and it is unfortunately true that the real cost of a relationship breakdown is not financial. The highest cost is the personal and emotional turmoil that so often accompanies the end of a relationship. A bad divorce can be damaging not just to the couple concerned but also to their children, their extended family and support network. Anything that can be done to reduce this trauma is worth considering.
We are committed to, wherever possible, adopting a non-confrontational approach to dealing with relationship breakdown, and to encouraging couples to look at what is best for the family as a whole.
Most people going through a divorce or separation wish to avoid going to court if at all possible, and the Collaborative Family Law process is a relatively new alternative to the court process which can help achieve this.
With Collaborative Law each person appoints his/her own lawyer, but instead of negotiations being conducted through solicitors by letter or telephone you and your former partner sit down together with your solicitors to discuss the issues in an atmosphere where everyone is committed to sorting things out without going to court. The key element in this process is that the parties and the lawyers agree that in the, hopefully unlikely, event that agreement cannot be reached and the matter has to go to a contested court hearing then the parties will have to appoint new lawyers. This agreement, and the threat of inconvenience, extra expense and wasted time in the event of no agreement, provides a real and positive incentive to all involved to work hard to produce a mutually workable and acceptable outcome.
For obvious reasons Collaborative Law is an increasingly popular option as an alternative to the conventional approach to resolving relationship, financial, children and practical issues. Despite the relative novelty of the process we have two trained Collaborative Lawyers who have developed substantial experience of dealing with things in this Collaborative way.
The biggest benefit of Collaborative Law is that at the end of the process you are more likely to be able to get on with the rest of your life without the bitterness and unresolved anger that so often accompanies divorce court proceedings involving contested court hearings.
For more information about Collaborative Law contact a member of our Family law Unit.