The collaborative process is an alternative to the traditional divorce process and eliminates the need to go to court. It may be for you if you both want more say in what ultimately happens. Many of our family lawyers are trained in collaborative law, allowing them to offer people who are getting divorced an alternative to the traditional approach of going to court which can be a lengthy and emotive experience.
Collaborative law is relatively new, but is now becoming much more popular in this country. It appeals not only because it can potentially save people money and allow them to reach decisions quicker, but people may feel more in control of the process.
Couples are often most concerned about financial issues and their children and the impact a divorce could have upon them. Collaborative law allows the couple to speak directly to each other and be guided by the lawyers on reaching the best mutual arrangement for both the children and the parents. People who have gone through the process say that it has allowed them to keep their dignity intact at a very tough time in their life.
What Is Collaborative Law?
Very simply, the couple who are separating, and their lawyers, agree in writing to try and reach a reasonable settlement without going to court. The couple and their lawyers will have face-to-face meetings to talk through all the issues and come to an agreement.
Is It Like Mediation?
No, at mediation the mediator is neutral and cannot give you legal advice. With collaborative law, both of the lawyers for each person are present to help negotiate for their client and provide them with legal guidance.
What Are The Benefits?
The issues involved can be resolved more quickly since both parties, with their lawyers, make the decisions between themselves. It can in some cases minimise costs.
Often the couple splitting up feels more in control of events because they can discuss things between themselves at the meeting rather than having to wait for an update from their lawyer.
The couple who are divorcing are confident that their lawyer is doing the utmost to help them reach an agreement, because if an agreement is not reached and they go to court they have to instruct new lawyers.
Can You Be Sure Each Party Will Fulfil Their Agreement?
Once you have reached an agreement, it can be ratified by the court in the form of a Court Order and then would be fully binding. If either party does not carry out their side of the agreement then it could mean going to court.
Where can I find details of other local collaborative family lawyers?
More information about Collaborative law can be found at the Peterborough Collaborative Law Group website.
How Much Will It Cost?
Costs can vary depending on your individual circumstances and requirements. See our family fees and charges section for more information.