Collaborative law for family problems and divorce
Collaborative law is a non-confrontational way of dealing with family problems and divorce without going to Court. Collaborative law is only suitable if both parties are willing to be open and honest and agree to go down this route to reach a settlement between themselves, with the help of third parties (such as Independent Financial Advisors amongst others) to guide and advise them.
Collaborative law can be useful in resolving issues relating to children, finances, separation or divorce. The Collaborative Law process has been structured to facilitate the chance of a successful settlement being reached and current research indicates a success rate of 85%.
Collaborative Lawyers are specially trained to facilitate this type of agreement. Here at Frisby and Small we can offer you this option if you would both like it.
How does Collaborative Law work?
Collaborative Law focuses on face to face negotiations in four way meetings with you and your partner as well as both of your representatives who will be collaboratively trained lawyers. The idea being that you will all work together to find solutions to the issues at hand which are acceptable to all parties.
At the outset, your lawyers will make sure that you both understand the process and you will all sign an agreement committing to the Collaborative process. An agenda will be set at the initial meeting which outlines what the issues to be resolved are. It is critical that both you and your partner are committed to finding a negotiated settlement using this method.
You will discuss the issues at a series of meetings, with the guidance of your lawyers. At the final meeting you will both sign a settlement agreement. A financial agreement is then filed with the Court which a Judge must approve and this then becomes a binding consent order.
How much does Collaborative law cost?
Both you and your partner will have their own Collaborative lawyer and will therefore incur costs at that lawyer's rate. This ensures that you both receive independent advice.
The overall cost of the process is dictated by the length of time spent on reaching an agreement. The quicker an agreement is reached, the lower the legal fees are likely to be. One of the major benefits of Collaborative law is the removal of a lot of the Court fees associated with traditional litigation.
During negotiations it is possible to include the issue of costs, in terms of who will pay them, as one of the areas to discuss.
How long does Collaborative law take?
Normally, when litigation through the Courts is pursued, the Court will impose certain timescales on the process which can cause it to drag on. One of the benefits of Collaborative Law is that it is free from these timescales. You and your partner are in control of the speed of the agreement. The more willing you are to reach a compromise, the quicker the process can be. Each case will progress at the pace you want and are comfortable with.
What happens if we cannot reach an agreement using Collaborative law?
Generally, people who enter into the Collaborative law process are confident that they can both be reasonable enough to reach a negotiated settlement.
If an agreement cannot be reached then the Collaborative lawyers have to withdraw from the process and disqualify themselves from litigation. You and your partner would then have to instruct new solicitors to take you down the traditional Court route.
Please contact us for more information.
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