This unique process is sometimes referred to as ‘no court divorce’ as avoiding court proceedings is the fundamental aim of the process. It recognises that the breakdown of a relationship is one of the most difficult and painful times in a persons life, and that communicating to resolve issues is often a far more beneficial approach for both individuals than fighting through the court process. It is generally a faster and more family focused approach than the traditional approach. The collaborative process ensures that the divorce or separation is dealt with in a dignified and respectful manner for the benefit of the entire family, and is particularly beneficial where there are children of the family.
Collaborative law involves a series of round table meetings with the couple and their respective collaborative lawyers, allowing honest and open negotiations and avoiding heated solicitor correspondence and the threat of court proceedings. The meetings are tailored to the specific circumstances of the family and the process is extremely flexible so as to enable the best resolution for the entire family, including any children of the family. At the same time you will have your lawyer on hand to advise you throughout and to protect your interests, whilst negotiating a fair and reasonable settlement of the issues within the meetings.
How does the collaborative process work?
- There is a commitment at the outset to work together to resolve issues and not to commence or threaten court proceedings.
- Information is shared openly and honestly in a series of meetings with the couple and their respective collaborative lawyers.
- There are negotiations aimed at reaching a fair and reasonable agreement for the family as a whole.
- The couple set the agendas for the meetings meaning that they are in control of the process as opposed to the lawyers.
- Whilst the success rates are high, should the process break down the couple will have to instruct new lawyers to commence litigation.
Due to the flexibility of the collaborative process, tailored and creative solutions can be achieved that will benefit the family as a whole. As all meetings are conducted in a dignified and managed way couples are much more likely to be on better terms at the conclusion of the process than if they had chosen the traditional route.
It is however fair to say that the collaborative approach is not right for every couple as both must have a genuine desire to resolve matters, as well as being able to listen to and respect the views of the other.
Contact us on 02380 713060 (Southampton) or 01962 670510 (Alresford). For further information about this area of law, visit the Solent Collaborative Group or Hampshire Family Legal Solutions websites www.solentcollaborative.co.uk or www.hfls.co.uk.