Going through family breakdown can be an extremely difficult time and can often be overwhelming for those involved. We understand how difficult it can be and we have a team of highly experienced lawyers to help guide you through the process of separation or divorce.
When relationships breakdown, a collaborative lawyer can help you reach an agreement with your ex-partner without going to court. We understand that every circumstance is different and therefore the approach to separation that is right for one person is not right for another.
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What is collaborative law?
Collaborative law is a voluntary process which involves having negotiations with your ex-partner by sitting down in the same room with both of your specially trained collaborative lawyers present. This allows you to have discussions face-to-face with the support of your lawyers.
All parties, including the lawyers, sign up to a participation agreement which sets out everyone’s commitment to trying to resolve the issues in an amicable and constructive way, without going to court. This helps promote amicable discussions rather than increase the conflict as court proceedings so often do.
In some circumstances other professionals such as financial advisors, accountants or pension actuaries can be brought into the collaborative process to provide neutral information and support to help facilitate those involved reaching an agreement
The Collaborative process is not right for everyone. For the process to be successful you and your ex-partner should:
- be willing to be in the same room as your ex-partner and discuss with them the issues that have resulted from your separation such as the arrangements for your children or financial matters;
- have a desire to reach an agreement amicably with each other and wish to avoid going to court;
- be prepared to be open and honest with each other in relation to your financial circumstances; and
- want to explore options that can meet both of your needs.
- It is amicable – Many couples who are going through a separation want to maintain a good relationship with each other, especially when children are involved. The collaborative process offers an opportunity for separating parents to work together with the help and support of their collaborative lawyers, without the threat of court proceedings approaching.
- Cost – Typically, the costs are significantly less than pursuing the matter through court proceedings.
- Legal advice – You still benefit from having the support and independent advice from your own lawyer who is with you each step of the process.
- You are in control – In the collaborative process, unlike when going through court, you are in control, You set the agenda, you decide the timetable and ultimately you decide on the outcome that is right for you. You can speak freely and openly in front of your ex-partner and their solicitor without worrying that what you say could be used to your disadvantage in court.
There are many similarities between the collaborative process and mediation, but the main difference is that in mediation the mediator is impartial and therefore unable to give any legal advice whereas in the collaborative process you will each have a lawyer by your side at every stage who is able to give you independent advice.
Collaborative family law solicitors Leeds, Sheffield & York
If you are going through a separation or divorce and think that the collaborative approach is right for you, or if you want to discuss your options with one of our experienced lawyers, then please get in touch by calling us on 0333 323 5292, or by filling in the enquiry form on this page and letting us know a suitable time to call you back.
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