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  • Our experienced team of family lawyers can help you navigate your separation in the way that best suits you and your family.

    Collaborative law is an alternative approach for couples going through separation or divorce.

    Collaborative law offers a non-adversarial approach to resolving family disputes, particularly divorce. Unlike traditional litigation, where parties often find themselves in contentious courtroom battles, collaborative law emphasises cooperation, open communication and allows couples to have more control over the outcome of their separation. 

    How is the collaborative approach different from the ‘traditional’ approach?

    Team approach

    You and your lawyers work together as a team to help reach a solution that best suits you and your family.  Other professionals, known as ‘neutrals’, can be also added to the team to help, for example financial advisors, family therapists or divorce coaches. 

    Committed to resolving issues out of court

    You and your ex-partner will both have your own lawyers, but all parties will sign an agreement at the outset guaranteeing that if the process breaks down and either client issues Court proceedings the same lawyers would not represent you in those proceedings.  As such, everyone involved is committed to resolving matters outside of the Court process.  If an agreement about certain details cannot be reached, an Arbitrator can still be involved in the process to settle any disputes and come to a fair decision without the need to end the process and go to court.

    Complete transparency

    As all meetings take place with both parties in the same room there is complete transparency with all legal advice given to the parties by their lawyers.  This way there is no ‘positioning’ and there are no secrets or surprises.  The joint meetings are not in any way adversarial, they are about exploring solutions that work for the whole family and ensuring no one is kept in the dark.  

    What are the benefits of collaborative law?

    Less costly – all discussions take place during meetings with the whole team present, which is more efficient than dealing with issues in written correspondence.

    Child and family focussed – promotes communication and cooperation between clients which provides a better foundation for a post-separation relationship.

    Your divorce, your way - clients agree and control the process including agenda, timings and venues.

    The Collaborative Process

    The following is an example of the collaborative process. Due to the bespoke, client-led nature of the process though, this may not be the same in all cases:

    1. Clients have a separate initial meeting with their lawyers when they receive information and they decide to follow the collaborative process.
    2. The lawyers meet to agree what issues will be discussed at the first joint meeting.
    3. First joint meeting attended by all. Any pressing issues will be resolved, and an agreement reached on the financial information required and the process for exchanging that ahead of the next meeting. Clients and lawyers will decide whether any neutrals should be invited to join the team.
    4. Prior to the second joint meeting, financial information will be provided. At the second joint meeting, if necessary, the lawyers can seek clarification in respect of the financial information.
    5. At the third joint meeting there are discussions with the aim of reaching a solution. Terms are hopefully agreed and noted, and the lawyers go away to prepare a Financial Consent Order.
    6. At the final joint meeting the lawyers and clients sign a Financial Consent Order ready for it to be lodged with the Court for a Judge to approve.

    Your divorce, your way

    The collaborative process can help you and your ex partner reach agreement whilst retaining your own team of professionals by your side.

    Chris Brown


    Partner | Head of the Family Department

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